Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) Treatment
One of the important components in the blood are platelets, which help thicken the blood while assisting in healing and clotting. When platelets are low, excessive bleeding can occur, both internally and externally. One of the causes of low platelets is idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP), which can be categorized as a spleen or blood disorder. Danny Shouhed, M.D. is a board certified general surgeon who specializes in spleen disorders. We offer idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP) treatment through our practice in Los Angeles.
Causes and Symptoms of ITP
Thrombocytopenia refers to low platelets, and purpura is bruising or purple coloring of the skin. The “I” in ITP can stand for idiopathic, which means the cause is unknown, or it can stand for “immune,” meaning an immune or autoimmune disorder. In idiopathic forms of ITP, the cause is not known, but the reason for low platelets is often the immune system attacking the platelets. The most common symptoms of ITP include:
- Low platelets, below 100,000 (normal range is 150-450k)
- Bruising easily
- Heavy menstruating
- Small red dots on the skin
- Bleeding gums
- Internal bleeding
Chronic forms of ITP are rare – acute forms can occur commonly in children. Treatment depends on the extent of symptoms and health risks. If platelets are too low, patients with ITP may be at high risk for internal bleeding that can be deadly. If treatment is needed, this can include steroid medications, Intravenous gamma globulin (IVGG)Rh immune globulin (only Rh-positive patients) and splenectomy. Removing the spleen can stop the production of antibodies that attack platelets.
If you have symptoms of ITP or have been diagnosed with chronic ITP, there are treatment options available. Danny Shouhed, M.D. is a highly experienced surgeon that offers idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP) treatment, including splenectomies. Contact our office in Los Angeles to schedule your consultation.