At the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program, we take the necessary steps prior to your surgery to ensure your surgery is successful and safe. Preparations for a bloodless surgery differ from preparations before a regular surgery.
Blood loss during the surgery is expected, and our doctors implement strategies ahead of time to compensate for this loss of blood. Strategies include:
- Delaying Surgery – If your surgery is elective and not an emergency, your doctor may decide to delay it if your hemoglobin levels are not sufficient. Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood cell that allows oxygen to be carried throughout your body. Delaying your surgery for a few weeks will give you time to make the necessary diet and medication changes to raise your hemoglobin level.
- Diet Management – Your doctor may advise you to eat foods that are high in iron to build up the iron supply in your blood. Your blood needs iron to carry oxygen throughout your body. You may also be advised to increase your vitamin C intake to help absorb the iron or to take other vitamin supplements like B - 12 or folic acid.
- Hematopoietic Agents – These include iron supplements and other medications that stimulate your body to produce more red blood cells. These medications can be used following surgery as well to rebuild your blood supply.
- Microsampling – As anyone who has been hospitalized knows, there are many routine blood tests performed during a hospital stay. With a bloodless surgery patient, the number of blood tests is kept to an absolute minimum and tests use microsampling, which means using extremely small amounts of blood to obtain the necessary laboratory results.
- Preoperative Bone Marrow Stimulation – This is the use of medication, like erythropoietin, to stimulate your bone marrow to produce more red blood cells.
- Stopping Certain Medications – Your doctor may tell you to stop taking certain medications that affect your blood clotting abilities or lower your blood count. These medications include aspirin, ibuprofen, other non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anticoagulants, vitamin E and certain herbal supplements containing garlic or ginkgo biloba. However, do not stop taking medications unless you have been directed to do so by your doctor.
- Stop Smoking – Smoking decreases the levels of oxygen that are delivered to your body. During a bloodless surgery, oxygen delivery is crucial. So speak to your doctor about quitting smoking. Learn more about our smoking cessation programs.
To find a bloodless medicine specialist or to receive latest newsletters and notice of upcoming events, please either call 443-777-7793 or email [email protected].
Doctors and medical staff, please page us on the Bloodless Medicine pager, 410-932-8241, or call 443-777-7793.