Bloodless heart surgery, in which the patient’s own blood is either recirculated or stored for re-use during surgery, is growing in popularity for a variety of reasons. Whether your religious tradition discourages the acceptance of blood transfusions, or you have health or other concerns, bloodless heart surgery may be the best option for you.
Potential Transfusion Complications
Whenever something new is introduced to the body, there is the potential for complications. Although blood to be transfused is carefully screened for viruses and other blood-born diseases, all-but eliminating the potential for infection, the body responds differently to donated blood. Since blood has preserving chemicals added when it is stored, some people may have an allergic response. Blood transfusions can have a diluting impact on the immune system, leaving the patient more vulnerable to post-operative infection and inflammation. When the patient’s own blood is recirculated into the body, it reduces the chances of shock and other adverse reactions.
Options for Bloodless Heart Surgery
There are specific techniques used during surgery to reduce blood loss and to reduce or eliminate the dependence upon transfusions. Extracorporeal circulation keeps the blood moving through a filter and returns it to the body, keeping the natural blood flow moving throughout the surgery. Blood salvage entails storing the patient’s blood during the surgery. Synthetic topical hemostatic products are not derived from blood, and therefore do not present the challenges of blood transfusion. These, and other techniques combine to reduce blood loss during surgery and to ensure that the patient does not need an outside transfusion.
Contact Dr. Ciuffo for a Consultation
If you or a loved one have religious or health concerns relating to an upcoming heart surgery, contact Dr. Ciuffo today. We will discuss the various available options and begin to create a plan that will help you move toward a better, healthier life.