There are several reasons why you might choose to have bloodless heart surgery. Be it health, religious, or another type of concern, you or a loved one won’t have to have a blood transfusion during your surgery. Additionally, the surgery is minimally invasive and leaves little scarring.
There are a few methods used to avoid blood transfusions at Dr. Chiuffo’s office:
- Extra Corporeal Circulation (the heart-lung machine) with or without blood storage. The entire blood volume can be kept in circulation at all times, in compliance with the principles and beliefs of the Jehovah’s witness community.
- Beating Heart Surgery technique for coronary artery bypass. It avoids using the heart-lung machine and helps us maintain a better ability to coagulate and stop bleeding after surgery.
- Blood Salvage. A “cell saver” machine that filters and returns the patient’s blood to his/her own circulation. A closed circulation loop with no storage can be maintained at all times.
- Intraoperative hemodilution: some of the patient’s own blood can be removed prior to surgery and replaced with fluid. After surgery, the patient’s blood is re-circulated into the patient’s body with the advantage of fresh, intact coagulation properties (not used in Jehovah’s witnesses because the blood needs to be stored out of the circulation for an hour or two)
- Careful cell saver recycling and rinsing of any blood absorbed in surgical pads and gauze during surgery. Many surgeons, unfortunately, do not pay much attention to what happens to those blood-soaked surgical pads. A surgical gauze pad can absorb up 300 ml of blood which could be lost with the rest of the disposables if an effort to recover it is not routinely made. A considerable amount of blood can be returned to our patients by following the simple routine outlined in the pictures below. This way we can reach the end of the operation with virtually no blood loss.
Benefits to Bloodless Heart Surgery
In addition to enjoying a fast recovery and high surgery success rates, patients can also experience these other benefits of bloodless surgery:
- Careful preparation of each patient for bloodless heart surgery
- A precise and meticulous technique during surgery
- A thorough postoperative follow-up
- The avoidance of potential side effects and complications related to blood transfusions.
Dr. Chiuffo and the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program
Dr. Chiuffo is dedicated to ensuring your heart surgery is successful and that you have a low recovery time. If you have any questions about your open heart surgery or how you should prepare for it, feel free to contact us at (330) 588-4676 or visit our contact page online.