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Patient Blood Management and Surgical Oncology

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An Interview with Kandace P. McGuire, MD

What techniques are used to limit surgical blood loss and treat patients effectively?

My partners and I at Magee-Womens Surgical Associates work closely within a comprehensive network to promote a good outcome for patients. We believe that for all patients, not just those who refuse, the use of blood products should be avoided if at all possible.

Studies have shown that blood transfusions in and around the time of surgery can worsen a patient’s cancer outcome. We use a combination of careful preoperative planning and surgical technique to perform as minimally invasive a surgery as is necessary to treat the cancer and to help minimize risks of blood and tissue loss.

Wishes regarding blood transfusions are identified preoperatively. Our partnering with the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at UPMC ensures that patients' needs and concerns regarding blood products are handled appropriately, before they become an issue.

What is your position on treating patients who refuse blood products?

We are very fortunate that the great majority of patients undergoing surgery for breast cancer treatment never require blood transfusion. However, for those who refuse blood products, the thought of surgery can be quite frightening.

My colleagues and I most certainly respect a patient’s wishes not to receive a blood transfusion for whatever reason (UPMC policy) and will work with them to plan reasonable alternatives should the (rare) need arise.

How can I schedule an evaluation?

Call 412-641-4274 for an evaluation. Patients may be seen at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC on the second floor or at our affiliate office in Monroeville.

After your initial visit, any further workup or treatment will be arranged for you by our staff at the most convenient site possible. We are involved in many clinical trials and make them available to eligible patients. We will work closely with a team of physicians, nurses, and other support staff to guide you through the difficult process of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from breast cancer.