Before starting GMA treatment, your doctor will ensure that you do not find yourself in a situation that contraindicates its use, at least temporarily, or requires special precautions up. An evaluation session is usually held to assess the venous accesses and decide whether the technique is applicable. The most frequent drawback to apheresis is poor venous access. In these cases, a central line1 can be cannulated if the indication for the technique is firm.
If you are treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) for the treatment of hypertension, consult your doctor. Usually, the medication should be suspended at least 24 hours beforehand to avoid situations of marked hypotension.
For the procedure it is best to wear loose-fitting clothes with short sleeves or sleeves you can easily roll.
Since you will be sitting for a while, you can also bring slippers to make you more comfortable. Sweat pants with stretchy waistbands are also suitable. If you are incontinent or have an overactive bladder, you may want to consider wearing adult diapers since you won’t be able to move once the procedure begins.
Most healthcare providers will recommend that you drink plenty of fluids several days in advance of a GMA procedure. Caffeine should be avoided as it promotes urination and can reduce the relative pressure in the veins.
On the day before the procedure, avoid any caffeinated beverages, foods (including dark chocolate), or medications (including pain relievers like Aspirin…). Eat a hearty meal prior to the procedure but not one that is large enough to cause you discomfort.
You should contribute to preserving your venous pathways, for example, by performing exercises that reinforce the vascularization of the arms (with weight or tensors) some days prior to the GMA session to improve venous circulation, and avoid excessive blood extractions, taking advantage of the access made in each session to carry out analytical tests.
You might want to bring something to read or watch while you are sitting (some apheresis rooms offer TV and reading materials to help pass the time).
Plan on having someone drive you home after the procedure as you may feel dizzy or faint. Though the staff will not stop you from driving yourself home, they may insist that you rest until you seem reasonably recovered.
If you have experienced body temperature (fever) before the GMA session, contact your doctor. It would be better to delay it until resolution.