Venesection Therapy In Delhi, Procedure, Risk, Tips, and FAQ’s

Venesection Therapy In Delhi, Procedure, Risk, Tips, and FAQ’s

Venesection (phlebotomy): Taking blood, called venesection or phlebotomy in medical language that reduces red blood cell counts in people with polycythaemia vera (PV).  It has very few risks.

If you have polycythaemia vera (PV) you have too many red blood cells in your body. One way to reduce your red cell count that does not require any medication at all is to use a procedure called venesection or phlebotomy.

It is a simple procedure done just like having a blood draw or making a blood donation, where a doctor or nurse inserts a needle into your vein and collects some blood.

Patients with PV usually have about anywhere from 350 ml to 500 ml of blood removed during venesection.

The amount depends on your height and weight as well as your haematocrit, (blood thickness or packed cell volume level) and your general state of health.

Venesection Therapy In Delhi, Procedure, Risk, Tips, and FAQ's

How it works

Phlebotomy or venesection is a standard treatment for PV and helps bring your red cell count closer to normal. Your haematologist will ask you to come to the hospital to have some blood removed.

It works in the short-term since you make up the liquid part of your blood i.e. plasma quicker than red cells and in the long-term iron stores are reduced slowing down the production of red cells.

For this reason, it is very important and be careful not to take iron if you are a patient with PV.

You may need regular venesections sessions every few weeks or months until you reach an acceptable blood thickness level.

Your target blood thickness (haematocrit) depends on your risk factors, how well you tolerate the procedure and whether you’ve had any previous complications such as a blood clot.

Why try this treatment

Phlebotomy has some real advantages for people with PV, such as:

  • It works quickly and also a simple process.
  • It does not require any medications.
  • It has minimal side effects.
  • It is effective at reducing red cell counts and thus risks.

With regular venesections sessions, your hematocrit or packed cell volume can reach a normal level

Allowing your heart to pump blood more efficiently. However, phlebotomy does not reduce white cells or platelet levels.

Together with medication

You may need low dose aspirin therapy or a cytoreductive treatment such as hydroxycarbamide, interferon or anagrelide in addition to regular phlebotomies.

Your hematologist will work with you to find the best combination for your individual condition.

Common side effects:

You may feel tired after giving blood, and you may have some local soreness or bruising, but serious side effects are not common. Some people faint after giving blood.

If you feel dizzy or unwell in the 24 hours afterward tell your Doctor and they may give you some fluid like salt water to replace the volume lost in the blood.

This is more likely to happen if you are taking tablets for blood pressure and if you have not eaten before attending the hospital.

Top tips

These are top tips for phlebotomy shared by people with PV.


You can prevent fainting by eating something before your venesection therapy.  Don’t skip breakfast at all.


Drink plenty of water before and after venesection therapy and be careful of dehydrating drinks.

Take it easy

Plan a restful time after your venesection therapy.  You may feel a bit tired so don’t want to schedule too much.

Let others know:

Tell your family members and others you trust that you are having a venesection so you may need a little extra help, for instance, if you are caring for young children.

Arrange transport:

You may be too tired to drive or travel by public transport right after a venesection session, in particular, if you are feeling fatigued for other reasons, for instance as a side effect of your MPN.

For women:

It is best (although not essential) to schedule venesections therapy for a time of the month when you are not menstruating.

This will prevent you from feeling excessively tired after venesection.

Venesection FAQs

Can I eat and drink normally?

Yes. Doctor recommend that you eat a normal, healthy diet and drink plenty of water.

Can I drink alcohol?

It is safe to drink alcohol in moderation, but Doc to recommend you do not exceed the recommended weekly limits of 21 units of alcohol per week for a man and 14 units for a woman.

Please ask your nurse or doctor if you require more information regarding alcohol consumption.

What if I want to have a child?

Venesection therapy or removal of blood is a safe treatment if you are pregnant or planning to father a child.

If you are pregnant, you may need fewer phlebotomies during your pregnancy. Please see our pregnancy section for more information on pregnancy in MPNs.

Who will do my venesection?

Your doctor or a specially trained nurse will take your blood and process the therapy.

Can I drive?

You may feel faint or fatigued right after venesection. If you are feeling drowsy or fatigued for any reason do not drive.

Do I need to take any special precautions?

Please make the nurse performing your venesections aware if you have any of the following medical conditions or are taking any of these medications:

If you are taking warfarin.

If you are taking beta-blockers (drugs which control blood pressure).

If you weigh less than 7 1/2 stone (49kg).

If you have previously fainted or felt unwell after a blood test or venesection.

If you are frightened of needles.

If you have a serious heart condition.

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