How Much Blood Is Drawn in a Phlebotomy Treatment of Polycythemia Vera?

Phlebotomy treatment involves the removal of a pint of blood each week until the patient's red blood cell count approaches normal, notes the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. How often a polycythemia vera patient needs phlebotomy depends on the severity of the condition, states Mayo Clinic.

A phlebotomy procedure is similar to the process of blood donation in that a needle is inserted into the patient's vein and blood flows from the vein through an airtight tube and into a sterile bag, explains the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The goal of the treatment is to bring the patient's blood thickness closer to normal, to control the symptoms of polycythemia vera, and reduce the risk of complications, such as heart attack and stroke.