ELIF: How do surgeons prevent you from bleeding out during surgery?


ELIF: How do surgeons prevent you from bleeding out during surgery?

In: Technology

Depends really. Aside from major vessels, not much blood is lost during a surgery. Tourniquets for limbs and careful positioning of incisions for more general stuff. Hollow organs, the major vessels, and scalp stuff all can involve a lot of bleeding if not done right. There’s packing agents, clamps, and creating pressure that all help too. I’ve had people lose more blood from me putting in a breathing tube (accidental damage to a tonsil) than lost in some surgeries.

They use drugs that constrict the blood vessels, that leads to less blood in them when they cut thus less bleeding. Also they have this pen kind of thingy that zaps electric charge, when something is bleeding they wipe it to see clearly where it’s coming from then they zap the vessel thus melting it’s edges and shutting it. If it’s a bigger blood vessel they sew it up, but I have yet to see that.

Recently had major surgery on my right hand. For this they put an air controlled tourniquet on my right bicep

Electrocautery has really been the biggest innovation in the OR in the last 40 years. Thyroid surgery, a previously extremely bloody surgery (1 litre was common) was turned into a “bloodless” surgery where blood loss could be as low as 10 mL. Hemostasis on approach is very critical as well. Avoiding blood vessels, identifying them, and ligating them with cautery, silk, or clips drastically lowers blood loss.