may be done if your blood has become too thick from the presence of abnormal antibodies created by multiple myeloma. Plasmapheresis is a process that separates the fluid part of the blood, called plasma, and removes it from your body. This part of the blood contains the abnormal antibodies.
During this procedure, two needles attached to a catheter tube are inserted into the veins. Blood is taken out of the body through one of the catheter tubes. It then goes into the apheresis machine. This machine works in one of two ways. In the first method, the blood cells may be separated from the plasma by spinning the blood at high speeds. The second method uses a special membrane. The membrane has tiny pores that only the plasma can pass through, leaving the blood cells behind.
Once in the machine, the blood cells are separated from the plasma. The blood cells are mixed with replacement plasma or a plasma substitute. The new mixed blood is then returned to the body through the other tube.
Plasmapheresis is used to help control symptoms of multiple myeloma. It is not a curative treatment, and its long-term benefits are not known.
Vertebroplasty and Balloon Kyphoplasty
Spinal compression fractures are a complication of multiple myeloma. This complication can result in severe back pain. During
, the doctor injects special bone cement into the broken vertebrae. In kyphoplasty, a balloon is used to expand the fractured area before injecting the cement. Both procedures restore some physical function of the spine and reduce pain.