LDL cholesterol is often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol that increases the risk of heart disease. When LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of blood vessels, it results in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), can block blood flow to your heart or brain and can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Typically, high cholesterol can be managed with a combination of diet, exercise and medication. For many reasons, though, some people with dangerously high levels of cholesterol don’t respond to this approach. UCHealth offers a safe and effective advanced treatment alternative: LDL apheresis.

Colorado’s first LDL apheresis program

In addition to support for traditional high-cholesterol treatments, UCHealth features LDL apheresis, one of the latest and most effective therapies for this metabolic condition. LDL apheresis treatment is delivered by a team of highly trained and experienced medical specialists you can trust.

How LDL apheresis works

Think of apheresis like you would kidney dialysis—whole blood is removed, cleaned of bad (LDL) cholesterol, and returned to your body. Using a vein in each arm, blood is continually drawn from one side of your body, passed through the filtering equipment, and returned to the vein on the other side of your body. Each session lasts between two and four hours.

Research shows that LDL apheresis treatment can reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood by up to 80 percent, significantly reducing your risk for heart attack or stroke.

For more information about this innovative treatment, or to set up an appointment with a specialist, please contact Apheresis Clinical Coordinator Nicole Bauer, RN, at 720-848-0444 or Nicole.Bauer@uchealth.org.