Surgical options that conserve blood loss

Some people want to avoid using donated blood during medical procedures because of religious beliefs or medical concerns. At San Ramon Regional Medical Center, we offer you the option of blood conservation, or “bloodless medicine,” for many procedures.

  • Variety of advanced techniques to conserve blood loss during surgery
  • Laboratory conservation techniques

San Ramon Regional Medical Center has a team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals skilled in blood conservation techniques including medications and technology to minimize blood loss during procedures.

What is blood conservation/bloodless medicine?

Traditionally, blood lost during surgery is replaced with banked blood from donors. Our blood conservation program uses special surgical methods that minimize blood loss and uses substitutes for blood products.

What procedures can use blood conservation techniques?

Thanks to medical advances, surgery today can be performed without blood transfusions. In fact, many techniques developed for people who needed bloodless surgery for religious reasons are now standard procedure for all patients.

Blood conservation interventions can be used in quite a few of our medical and surgical specialties, including:

  • Cardiology
  • Colon/rectal surgery
  • Endocrinology
  • Emergency services
  • Family practice
  • Gastroenterology
  • General surgery
  • Gynecology/oncology surgery
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Infectious disease
  • Intensive and critical care
  • Internal medicine
  • Neurosurgery
  • Obstetrics/gynecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Urology and urologic surgery
  • Vascular surgery

Techniques and equipment

San Ramon Regional Medical Center uses a variety of advanced techniques to conserve blood loss during surgery. Some methods we use include:

  • Laboratory conservation technique — San Ramon Regional Medical Center does "micro sampling" for lab tests, a technique that reduces the amount of blood removed for blood tests.
  • Intra- and post-operative blood salvaging (such as the Cell Saver®) — A technique using a special blood recycling machine that collects, cleans and returns blood to the patient’s own blood during and after surgical procedures.
  • Harmonic Scalpel, Argon Beam Coagulator and Electrocautery — These surgical devices seal blood vessels during surgery, minimizing bleeding.
  • Laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery — Medical advances have led to more procedures using smaller incisions and fiber optic technology to reduce blood loss and recovery time.
  • Pharmaceutical agents — Medications assist in reducing blood loss by increasing clotting or controlling excessive bleeding. A genetically engineered hormone called EPO (erythropoietin) prompts the body to more quickly replace lost blood.
  • Nutritional support — Patients are advised of nutritional measures to take before surgery to make sure they are in optimal preoperative condition.

For more information about our bloodless medicine program. Please call San Ramon Regional Medical Center at (925) 275-9200.

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