Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Phlebotomy
Phlebotomy is a procedure that removes blood from the body. Regular
phlebotomy treatment is used to treat conditions such as hemochromatosis, in
which a person has too much iron in his or her blood, or polycythemia, in which
a person is producing too many red blood cells.
Removing blood regularly decreases iron levels in the body by
reducing the number of iron-rich red blood cells. Phlebotomy is safe when done
by a health professional in appropriate situations. The process is similar to
donating blood. A health professional inserts a needle into an arm vein and
removes about 500 mL (17 fl oz) of blood.
Removal of excess iron can significantly reduce the possibility of
severe and even life-threatening damage to the liver and other organs.
Current as of:
September 9, 2014
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.