Plasmapheresis is done to exchange plasma in the blood. Plasma is the liquid part of the blood that does not contain cells. Once the plasma is removed, fresh plasma or a plasma substitute is added back to the blood.

Plasmapheresis removes autoantibodies from the blood. Autoantibodies are proteins found in plasma. They mistakenly attack your body’s own tissues. In some cases, this procedure is used to remove toxins or metabolic substances from the blood.

Plasmapheresis is used to treat the following:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Neurological diseases
  • Very high levels of cholesterol that are not reduced by diet and medications
  • Toxins that can get into your blood