Bloodless surgery by a regional intraarterial tourniquet during primary and revision THA

Orthopedics. 2013 Dec;36(12):e1527-33. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20131120-17.


Primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) and revision THA are associated with blood loss that can be significant. The purpose of this retrospective study was to compare the efficacy of intra-arterial occlusive balloons in reducing blood loss during primary and revision THA. Twelve patients (Jehovah’s Witnesses) scheduled for a primary (n=6) or revision (n=6) THA who refused blood transfusions were compared with 48 control-matched patients (primary THA, n=24; revision THA, n=24). All Jehovah’s Witnesses received an intra-arterial balloon preoperatively, and all control patients underwent conventional surgery. Intraoperatively, balloons were periodically inflated to reduce blood loss and deflated to prevent limb ischemia. Endpoints for the study were estimated blood loss, perioperative hemoglobin, mean hospital stay, mean operative time, amount of intraoperative fluid or blood administered, and complications. None of the patients with an occlusive balloon received blood, whereas the primary THA group received an average of 0.6 units (P=.08) and the revision THA group received an average of 1.9 units (P=.02). Estimated blood loss was significantly decreased in the balloon group compared with the primary THA group (145 vs 402 mL, respectively; P<.01) and the revision THA group (333 vs 767 mL, respectively; P<.01). No complications were associated with the intra-arterial balloons. All patients showed a significant reduction in hemoglobin immediately postoperatively compared with preoperative values. No statistically significant differences existed in the amount of fluids given intraoperatively or the mean hospital stay among all groups. Temporary internal tourniquets used as an adjuvant to surgery significantly reduce intraoperative blood loss during primary and revision THA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / methods*
  • Balloon Occlusion*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / prevention & control*
  • Bloodless Medical and Surgical Procedures*
  • Female
  • Hip Joint / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Joint Diseases / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tourniquets