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How is my own blood used for a blood transfusion during cancer surgery?

Using your own blood for a blood transfusion (autologous blood donation) during surgery can be done in two ways. If you are interested in either of the following, make an appointment to speak to your anesthesiologist before your date of surgery.
  • Right before surgery, your doctor may be able to remove some of your blood and replace it with other fluids ("hemodilution"). After surgery this blood may be returned to you.
  • During surgery, the surgeon may be able to recycle your blood ("cell saver"). Blood that is normally lost and discarded may be collected, processed, and returned to you. (This may not be an option for patients with cancer, since cancer cells can be "reintroduced" in the blood.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.