Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

How Bloodless Surgery Works

For More Information

For more information about bloodless surgery at Houston Methodist, you or your physician can contact:

Jessica Varisco
Coordinator of Blood Conservation & Management Program

Houston Methodist Hospital
Office: 713-441-2177
Fax: 713-790-2895
Email: jlvarisco@houstonmethodist.org

Bloodless Surgery Techniques & Strategies

Houston Methodist Hospital bloodless surgery program utilizes a variety of safe, proven, and effective strategies before, during and after surgery. Bloodless surgery strategies optimize patient’s blood levels, minimize blood loss and recirculate the patient’s own blood. Click on detailed methods options listed below. 

How Bloodless Surgery Works

Pre-Surgery Techniques
During Surgery

Pre-Surgery Techniques

Bloodless surgery takes additional preparation. We use a variety of
strategies to optimize blood levels before surgery, including:

  • Assessing and correcting anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Assessing and correcting bleeding disorders and promoting clotting
  • Dietary changes to build up iron supply and absorption
  • Medications/supplements to increase production of red blood cells and blood volume
  • Stopping medications and herbs that affect blood clotting or lower your
    blood count
  • Lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking and alcohol use
  • Limiting blood draws and using extremely small amounts when blood is

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During Surgery

Strategies to minimize blood loss during surgery include:

  • Minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopic or robotic surgeries
    that use small incisions and limit blood loss
  • Electrocautery and other surgical devices that “seal” blood vessels to
    stop bleeding
  • Cell Saver machines that collect the patient’s lost blood, clean it and
    return it to the patient
  • The use of special adhesives
  • Acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH), a technique in which some of
    the patient’s blood is removed and replaced with an IV fluid, resulting
    in the same volume of blood in the body, but less concentrated; after
    surgery, the original blood drawn is returned to the patient.
  • Anesthesia techniques such as managing blood pressure and body
    temperature so that the patient bleeds less.

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Bloodless surgery patients are closely monitored to ensure optimum blood
levels. Bloodless surgery strategies after a procedure include:

  • Limiting blood draws
  • Medications and supplements to rebuild blood levels
  • Close monitoring of blood pressure, temperature and fluid levels
  • Medications to help the blood clot, preventing bleeding
  • Dietary recommendations
  • Hormones to stimulate bone marrow to produce more red blood cells
  • Reinfusing blood collected before or during surgery

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