Therapeutic phlebotomy is a procedure where blood is removed from your body. Your provider will order the amount of blood to be removed. The procedure is like donating blood.

Purpose of the Treatment

It is used to treat certain disease. It can:

  • Remove extra red blood cells.

  • Remove extra iron in the blood.

  • Remove unusual shaped red blood cells.

Side Effects

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Fainting

  • Low blood pressure

  • Soreness, redness, burning or pain where the needle was placed

  • Bruising where needle was placed

  • Nausea and vomiting

Getting Ready

  • Eat before your treatment

  • Drink 8-10 (8 oz) glasses of fluid the day before

  • Tell your provider if you are taking any blood thinning medicines

During Treatment

  • Drink fluids (juice or soda with sugar is best)

  • Remain seated or laying down

  • Let your nurse know if you are having any side effects

After Treatment

  • Do not change positions too fast. If you get up too quickly, you may feel dizzy, lightheaded or faint. If this happens, sit down right away and put your head between your knees or lay down with your legs higher than your head until your symptoms improve. If you keep feeling dizzy or lightheaded, tell your doctor or nurse.

  • Keep the bandage on for at least 1 hour.

  • Raise your arm over your head and apply pressure for 5 to 10 minutes if the needle site is bleeding. If you are still bleeding after 10 minutes, contact the clinic who performed the treatment right away.

  • Apply ice for 20 minutes, 2-3 times per day for bruising.

  • Drink plenty of fluids for the next 24 hours. Your urine should be clear or pale yellow. Do not drink alcohol.

  • Avoid heavy exercise and lifting for at least 5 hours after treatment.

  • Eat well balanced meals for the next 24 hours.

  • Avoid smoking for at least 30 minutes after treatment.