Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can my blood type affect my surgery?"
I am scheduled to have surgery to repair a small hernia in my stomach muscles. I have a rare blood type, AB negative and was curious if it will affect my surgery. Are there any added risks because my blood type is so rare?
There are no added risks to having the blood type AB negative. There are several reasons for this. First, no matter what your blood type is, every hospital will have a blood type that can be given to you if you need blood. For patients that have AB negative blood, you can received any type of blood that is negative. This means that even if the hospital doesn't have an AB negative donor, you could receive A negative, B negative, or O negative blood. Blood types don't have any other impact on your health, and the surgery will proceed in a normal way. The second reason why your blood type does not give you any addition risk is that a hernia repair surgery rarely results in enough blood loss to require a blood transfusion. Thus, your blood type is not likely to be an issue during this surgery. If you are concerned about your operation, or are still concerned if your blood type will be an issue, you should bring this up at your pre-operative office visit with your surgeon. At that visit your surgeon will discuss the operation, all the risks that go along with it, and the benefits you are likely to get. Either at this visit or on the day of the operation, you will have your blood drawn so that if you were to need a transfusion, the right type of blood would be selected.
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