With the development of advanced decompression and instrumentation techniques with bone graft options, spine surgery is much more established and predictable. In preparing a patient for safe bloodless spine surgery, a comprehensive medical evaluation is recommended. This preparation ensures “no surprises” in the operating room.

Medical optimization of patients leads to a shorter and safer surgery. Medical evaluation, and “tune-ups” by your family practitioner, and your internist may result in better-controlled blood sugar and blood pressure leading to more reliable operations by diminishing the length, and consequently the blood loss during surgery. Cardiologists are frequently recommended to certify that your heart can safely withstand the surgery. Especially, losing some blood without subsequent transfusion. Pulmonary specialists render lung opinions and optimizations. Neurologists will do EMG’s to define better the nerves that are symptomatic, and accurately identify the nerves necessary for surgical decompression. A hematologist may increase your blood volume by recommending erythropoietin.

Therefore, bloodless spine surgery is the comprehensive preparation of a patient for spine surgery using techniques for diminishing blood loss in the operating room, and postoperative considerations.

Safety is the predominant concern. Blood transfusions have recognized risk factors. Bloodless surgery is the goal and the destination. Realistically, however, some blood will be lost in all surgeries.

Dr. Ken Hansraj Chief of Spine Surgery New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine