Apheresis FAQs

At the ONJ Centre we care for people touched by cancer every day and hear many questions. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions. If you do not find the answer you need, we recommend you speak to your doctor.

Family members or support people are always welcome to come to your appointment with you.

Generally an apheresis procedure takes around three to four hours, however a peripheral blood stem cell collection can take longer and varies widely from patient to patient.

You will be in a comfortable reclining chair in your own private cubical that has a TV.

Your treatment should not be painful. If you are feeling discomfort, please let the nursing staff know.

You may feel tired after your treatment so make sure you rest, don't do anything physically demanding afterwards and keep drinking lots of fluids.

Yes. It is important that you eat your usual meal, drink plenty of fluids and take your usual medication before your appointment, unless told otherwise by your doctor or nurse. Drinking lots of water and keeping warm before your appointment can help staff to find a vein for your treatment.

Wear comfortable clothes with loose sleeves, as the nursing staff will need to put a needle into your arm to perform the procedure. If you have a vascath or permacath (a central line catheter), please wear clothes that allow easy access to your chest. Some people feel cold when they are receiving treatment so it is a good idea to bring something warm with you. If you are cold, please ask for a blanket.

Treatments can take several hours so you are encouraged to bring something to do, ideas include:

  • books or magazines
  • iPod
  • laptop
  • games
  • DVDs
Morning tea, a light lunch and afternoon tea are provided but you are welcome to bring your own food and drinks.

Yes, you can use your mobile phone whilst receiving treatment however it is important you are considerate of other patients. Please keep the noise to a minimum and limit the length of your call.

WiFi access can be established for your mobile device.  Please discuss with your nurse if you are interested in arranging this. 

We recommend that you arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointments as you may feel tired after your treatment.

Volunteer transport is available for some people.

Apheresis, ONJ Centre

+61 3 9496 5301

Monday to Friday 8am-4.30pm


Can't find what you need?

At the ONJ Centre in Melbourne, we have an information lounge on Level 3 with an extensive range or resources to help those living with cancer and undergoing treatment. For more information resources online, we recommend you explore trusted, credible websites. See our recommended website guide.