The Center for Bloodless Medicine & Surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital

Anesthesia Techniques in Bloodless Surgery

Pennsylvania Hospital's Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery's medical team is experienced in preparing patients for no blood procedures, as well as performing techniques during bloodless surgery that maximize outcomes and minimize blood loss.

Preparing for Bloodless Surgery at Penn

Before bloodless surgery, a medical team at Pennsylvania Hospital assesses and identifies methods to maximize patient outcomes using proven strategies such as:

  • Administering oral or topical medications that help reduce bleeding and help with blood clotting
  • Correcting or managing clotting abnormalities or deficiencies
  • Reducing the amount of blood tests or blood draws before, during or after surgery
  • Treating patients with anemia or iron deficiencies in advance of surgery

Anesthesia Techniques During Bloodless Surgery at Penn

Pennsylvania Hospital's Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery's medical team may use certain anesthesia techniques during bloodless surgery such as building blood volume, recycling a patient's own blood, managing blood pressure or body temperature.

Anesthesia techniques that may assist during bloodless surgery include:

  • Administering volume expanders or intravenous fluids made with water, salt, sugar or starches that help maintain the correct amount of fluid in the blood vessels. Volume expanders may include crystalloids (e.g., normal saline or lactated Ringer's solutions) or colloids (e.g. albumin or hetastarch).
  • Applying cell saver or intraoperative blood salvage techniques that use devices and methods to collect blood from an active bleeding site and re-infusing that blood into the same patient for the maintenance of blood volume
  • Implementing deliberate intraoperative hypotensive anesthesia or lowering blood pressure during surgery to reduce blood loss
  • Inducing hypothermia to lower a patient's body temperature to decrease metabolic activity, heart rate and oxygen consumption
  • Using acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH) techniques or blood conservation applications that are implemented by operating room anesthesiologists. These techniques involve collecting, diluting and re-infusing a patient's own blood during a surgical procedure.

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