Heart Surgeons Reduce Blood Loss With Advanced Bypass Technology
Advanced technology used by Beaumont Hospital cardiac specialists to temporarily stop the heart during surgery is resulting in reduced blood loss during bypass procedures. This is an important advancement for patients who may object to having a blood transfusion for religious reasons or out of fear of contracting a blood-borne illness, or for older people where the possibility of blood loss during surgery is more serious.
Blood transfusions can increase complications after surgery and can reduce long-term survival.
"So by reducing or eliminating the need for blood transfusions, we're not only opening up the possibility of having these critical surgeries to more people, we're also enhancing their post-surgical recovery and survival," says Marc Sakwa, M.D., chairman, Cardiovascular Medicine.
The surgeons recently published results of a study of 200 patients who underwent heart surgery from February 2005 through April 2006. Half had the advanced technology - called a minimized bypass circuit - and half had older technology.
Those who had the minimized bypass circuit technology not only had less blood loss, they also had less anemia, better blood clotting and had a breathing tube for a shorter length of time. Having the breathing tube can lead to unwanted complications the longer it's in.
The patients ranged in age from 39 to 86. All were considered low-risk. The study's authors speculate that higher-risk patients may achieve even greater benefit.
While all had bypass surgery, the advanced technology can also be used for all forms of heart surgery, including valve replacement and minimally invasive mitral valve repair or replacement.