Center for Bloodless Medicine & Surgery

Physician comforting patient

The Center for Bloodless Medicine & Surgery evaluates and treats many cancer patients without the use of blood products. We are one of the only sites in the nation to successfully perform high dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue using bloodless techniques.

The Center for Bloodless Medicine & Surgery treats patients who do not wish to accept blood transfusions for religious, personal, medical or ethical reasons. The program incorporates the expertise of highly skilled surgeons, anesthesiologists, hematologists, nurses and other medical specialists and professional support staff with experience in "no blood" medical management.

Since it was founded in 1996, the Center has evolved into a major national bloodless center that treats more than 600 patients per year.

Benefits of Bloodless Medicine and Surgery

Our patients who have chosen to receive non-blood medical care have found that the benefits outweigh the risk of transfusion. A bloodless approach to treatment means:

  • A shorter than usual hospital stay in many cases
  • Reduced blood loss
  • No chance of blood contamination due to AIDS, hepatitis, and other blood-borne viruses
  • Prior to treatment for cancer with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, you may undergo various interventions to stimulate the production of your own blood cells. These may include injections or intravenous infusions of hormones, iron, and vitamins.
  • Most patients who elect bloodless medicine and surgery will be seen and followed by one of our hematologists to evaluate and monitor blood levels during the course of treatment.

Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Options at Penn

In the last decade, Penn Medicine has expanded and extended its bloodless medicine program as technology, equipment, medications and surgical methods have rapidly advanced. Today, the Center for Bloodless Medicine & Surgery offers bloodless medicine and surgical options to patients in practically every medical specialty including:

  • Bariatric (weight-loss) surgery
  • Cancer and chemotherapy management
  • Cardiology and cardiac surgery
  • Gastroenterology
  • General surgery
  • Gynecologic surgery
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Neurology and neurosurgery
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Orthopaedics and orthopaedic surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose and throat)
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Pulmonary
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Urology
  • Vascular surgery

Learn more about Blood Transfusion Alternatives at Penn.

For more information or to make an appointment at the Center for Bloodless Medicine & Surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital, call 800-789-PENN (7366).