Bloodless Surgery

Bloodless surgery means doing an operation without the need for of blood transfusions.

Bloodless surgery addresses multiple issues including, religious convictions and the reality of contracting diseases such as HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis.

Bloodless surgery is accomplished by minimizing blood loss.  Blood loss is more often associated with "open surgery,"  the traditional  large incisions which expose more of the body's normal tissues.  Bloodless surgery relies foremost on minimally invasive surgery to minimize tissue disruption.

During surgery meticulous techniques are used to stop all bleeding. Surgical devices are used to cauterize as they cut to seal off any potential bleeding. Diluting your own blood, with volume expanders (Saline, etc.), hypotensive anesthesia (lowering blood pressure), and hypothermia (lowering body temperature) are several of the anesthetic techniques utilized. Also, blood lost during surgery can be collected, washed, and returned to the patient.

If You Need Blood …

The Safest Blood is Your Own. You can refuse transfusion entirely or you can pick from several options described below.

The methods of using your own blood can be used independently or together to eliminate or minimize the need for donor blood, as well as virtually eliminate transfusion risks of infection and allergic reaction

Autologous Blood—Using Your Own Blood





Pre-Operative Donation

Donating Your Own Blood Before Surgery

The blood bank draws your blood and stores it until you need it, during or after your surgery.  For elective surgery only.

Eliminates or minimizes the need for someone else’s blood during and after surgery.

Requires advance planning.


May delay surgery.


Medical conditions may prevent pre-operative donation.

Intra-Operative Autologous Transfusion

Recycling Your Blood During Surgery

Instead of  being discarded, blood lost during surgery is filtered, and put back into your body during surgery.  For elective and emergency surgery.

Eliminates or minimizes need for someone else’s blood during surgery.  Large amounts of blood can be recycled.

Not for use if cancer or infection is present.

Post-Op Autologous Transfusion

Recycling Your Blood After Surgery

Blood lost after surgery is collected, filtered and returned.  For elective and emergency surgery.

Eliminates or minimizes the need for someone else’s blood after surgery.

Not for use if cancer or infection is present.


Donating Your Own Blood During Surgery

Immediately before surgery, some of your blood is taken and replaced with I.V. fluids.  After surgery, your blood is filtered and returned to you.  For elective surgery.

Eliminates or minimizes the need for someone else’s blood during and after surgery.  Dilutes your blood so you lose less concentrated blood during surgery.

Limited number of units can be drawn.


Medical conditions may prevent hemodilution.


Donating Your Own Platelets and Plasma

Before surgery, your platelets and plasma, which help stop bleeding, are withdrawn, filtered and returned to you when you need it.  For elective surgery.

May eliminate the need for donor platelets and plasma, especially in high blood-loss procedures.

Medical conditions may prevent apheresis.


Procedure has limited application.

In some cases, you may require more blood than anticipated.  If this happens and you receive blood other than your own, there is a possibility of complications, such as hepatitis or AIDS.

Donor Blood—Using Someone Else’s Blood

Donor blood and blood products can never be absolutely 100% safe, even though testing makes
the risk very small.





Volunteer Blood

From the Community Blood Supply

Blood and blood products donated by volunteer donors to a community blood bank.

Readily available.  Can be life-saving when your own blood is not available.

Risk of disease transmission (such as hepatitis or AIDS), and allergic reactions.

Note: You may wish to check whether donors are paid or volunteer, since blood from commercial (paid) donors may not, in some cases, be as safe as blood from volunteers.

Designated Donor Blood

From Donors You Select

Blood and blood donors you select who must meet the same requirements as volunteer donors.

You can select people with your won blood type who you feel are safe donors.

Risk of disease transmission (such as hepatitis or AIDS, and allergic reactions.


May require several days for an advanced donation.


Not necessarily as safe as volunteer donor blood.

Note: Care should be taken in selecting donors.  Donors should never be pressured into donating.  Donations from certain family members may require irradiation of blood.

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