Before an upcoming surgery, most people worry about the amount of blood loss they may have to endure. In normal life, even small cuts make us bleed. It makes us wonder how surgeons can cut deep inside our body without making us bleed to death.
Well, the first thing we need to understand is that surgeons have years of experience. They have extensive knowledge about arteries and veins and can plan the surgery accordingly. Moreover, surgeons have access to special tools and medications that help to reduce bleeding during surgery. Here are some more details about how surgeons work to reduce bleeding during surgery.
- Prior to surgery, doctors work to find the least invasive approach that can be used for the operation. This is aimed to reduce tissue damage and loss of blood.
- Special medications, vitamins and nutritional supplements are provided to the patient prior to surgery. These help to increase red blood cells in the body, allowing for improved oxygen carrying capacity. This way, the patient is able to handle blood loss without any significant complications.
- Hemodilution technique can be used, which dilutes the blood prior to surgery. This minimizes the impact of blood loss on the body.
- Harmonic scalpel is an advanced tool that can cut tissue, while simultaneously clotting the blood. This significantly reduces blood loss resulting from cutting of veins.
- An anesthesiologist can come up with a specific dose of anesthesia, which will lower blood pressure to a safe level. This helps to reduce blood loss during surgery.
- Hemostatics are specialized drugs that reduce bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel. These can be given before, during and after surgery, based on requirement.
- Electrocautery is another technique that can quickly stop bleeding vessels.
- There’s a special device called intraoperative cell salvage machine that can be used during surgery. It collects blood produced during surgery, cleans it and injects it back inside the patient. This helps maintain the needed blood volumes and reduces the need for blood transfusions.
- A noninvasive continuous hemoglobin monitor can be used to monitor quality of blood in real time. This eliminates the need of taking blood samples and sending it to the lab for examination.
Blood loss usually continues after surgery, albeit in a limited manner. For reducing the impact of blood loss post-surgery, medications can be provided to boost production of red blood cells. Microsampling techniques are now widely used instead of drawing blood from the patient. Microsampling techniques significantly reduce blood loss linked to conventional blood testing procedures.