ECP is a treatment that can be used for patients with problems associated with cutaneous (skin) T-cell lymphoma, skin grafts, and organ transplants. The ECP procedure temporarily draws the patient's blood into a machine that separates the white blood cells, then mixes them with a light-sensitive medication. The white blood cells are exposed to ultraviolet light then returned to the patient where they promote the death of the diseased cells.
ECP is usually a two-day process. The treatment itself takes about three or four hours each day. It's an outpatient procedure so no hospital stay is necessary. The frequency of treatments varies from weekly to monthly depending on your condition.
The medication stays in your body for up to 24 hours after ECP. During this time you should protect your skin and eyes to prevent increased risk of cataracts or sunburn-like damage to your skin.