When indicated the CBMS nurse will consult with your physician to plan strategies that will help you compensate for the expected loss of blood during surgery, such as:
Hematopoietic Agents — A healthy blood count is important for a patient scheduled for surgery. Iron supplements and other medication can be given for several weeks prior to surgery to stimulate the production of red blood cells. These same agents can be used after surgery, if needed, to rebuild the red blood cell count.
Pre-Operative Bone Marrow Stimulation — treatment of anemia with erythropoietin is sometimes indicated. Nicknamed 'epo' it is a drug that boosts red blood cell production in the patient’s own bone marrow.
Bleeding Risk Assessment -- Many people today take a baby aspirin or other medications to inhibit platelet function and decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. These medications must be stopped prior to surgery to insure that the platelets work effectively to stop bleeding. The physician will give instructions specific to the individual patient prior to surgery.
Anesthesia and Surgical Planning -- The surgical approach is an important part of the planning process. Sometimes a more minimally invasive approach benefits the patient. The type of anesthesia used also is carefully chosen to lessen risk. We may plan ahead to use the cell saver or acute normovolemic hemodilution depending on the anticipated blood loss.
In all cases, a team of clinicans will determine what strategies will lower risk and optimize the outcome for each individual patient.