If you think you may need to have apheresis treatment, talk to your lipid specialist at the hospital who helps to manage your cholesterol.
What is LDL-apheresis?
LDL-apheresis is a type of ‘extracorporeal’ (blood taken outside the body) procedure to remove low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from the blood. LDL-apheresis is considered for those patients who, despite the maximum amount of drug treatment and a cholesterol lowering diet, still have higher LDL cholesterol levels than is healthy.
Many people who require this treatment have a condition called Familial Hypercholesterolaemia, a genetic problem which leads to high LDL cholesterol levels.
Some patients are referred for this treatment because they are unable to tolerate lipid-lowering drugs due to side effects. A few people also require LDL-apheresis because they have slightly raised cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease which is progressing.
Increased levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk heart disease as the LDL is deposited in the walls of the arteries causing them to narrow.