Blood Transfusion and Radical Prostatectomy
It doesn't happen nearly as often as it used to, but some men who undergo radical prostatectomy need to have extra blood – either from a donor, or from a supply of their own blood, banked ahead of time. "Fortunately," says urologist Misop Han, M.D., "the need for blood transfusion with radical prostatectomy has been gradually decreasing with the discovery of important anatomic structures around the prostate gland by Patrick Walsh, and the increasing use of minimally invasive surgical techniques."
For men who may need it, there
But for the men who may need it, there is good news: It does not affect a man's chances for cure. In a study led by Han, investigators looked at the large database of men who underwent radical prostatectomy at Johns Hopkins between 1994 and 2012. "We found that blood transfusion, whether from a donor or using your own blood, does not independently affect your risk of recurrence or your length of survival after surgery. Also, the amount of blood transfused did not change the outcome," Han reports. These results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in San Diego.