Blood Conservation Techniques & Tools
Through a team-based approach, experts at NYU Langone’s Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program work closely across a range of specialties, including the following:
- cardiothoracic surgery
- colorectal surgery
- endovascular surgery
- general surgery
- obstetrics and gynecology
- orthopedic surgery
- otolaryngology—head and neck surgery
- robotic surgery
- surgical oncology
We choose the patient blood management techniques and tools that are right for you based on your needs, beliefs, and preferences, both before and during surgery.
The Aquamantys® System includes a generator and bipolar sealers that use radiofrequency energy and saline to seal soft tissue and bone, during or after surgery. This device helps to control bleeding and can be used during different types of surgeries.
Argon Beam Coagulator
An argon beam coagulator helps to control bleeding during surgery. An electric current is passed through a beam of argon gas and directed at the bleeding tissue to help blood quickly coagulate, or clot.
Blood Salvage Techniques
Our blood salvage, or cell salvage, techniques include the use of a device called the Cell Saver® that involves collecting lost blood, filtering it, and recycling it so it can be reinfused back into the same patient. This is generally used during or after surgical procedures in which a significant amount of blood loss is expected, eliminating the need for a blood transfusion.
Electrocautery is a process in which a metal wire electrode generates heat to quickly seal blood vessels and reduce or stop bleeding during surgery or after an injury.
Unlike a regular scalpel that is used to cut tissues during surgery, a harmonic scalpel uses ultrasound technology to cut and seal at the same time, causing blood to clot almost immediately. This reduces blood loss during surgery.
A heart–lung machine is used during heart surgery to recirculate and oxygenate the patient’s own blood before directing it back into the body, reducing the need for blood transfusions.
Hemodilution and Volume Expanders
Hemodilution and volume expanders are blood conservation techniques that dilute blood before surgery using intravenous (IV) fluids, helping to minimize the effect of blood loss. During acute normovolemic hemodilution, we remove some of the patient’s blood just before dilution and transfuse it back into the patient after the surgical procedure is completed.
Medications to Conserve Blood
We also use medications that help conserve blood and minimize blood loss during surgery. These include hemostatic drugs that help the blood clot better, and synthetic erythropoietin, which stimulates the bone marrow to produce enough red blood cells to avoid transfusion.
Minimally Invasive Surgery Techniques
Our surgeons are experts in minimally invasive robotic surgery, using the da Vinci® Si and da Vinci® Xi surgical robots, which allows us to make smaller incisions that minimize blood loss.
SpHb Noninvasive Hemoglobin Monitor
The SpHb® hemoglobin monitor is a noninvasive device that provides continuous information about changes in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body. With this device, our surgeons receive real-time data that can help reduce the number of times we need to draw blood.
The VAMP™ system helps reduce blood loss when surgeons are taking blood samples during surgery. Typically, the blood that has been sampled and checked needs to be discarded, but this system allows the return of blood that has been sampled to the patient.