Blood levels before surgery

It is important to have normal blood (hemoglobin) levels before your surgery. This will help you handle surgery better and lower your risk of needing a blood transfusion while you are in the hospital.

Talk with your primary care provider about your blood levels before surgery. Your surgery may need to be rescheduled if they are low before surgery. This will give your primary care provider time to find out why they are low and give you any treatments needed to get your blood levels back to normal.

Your blood levels may be low after surgery. This is normal. It may take a few months for your blood levels to go back to normal. You and your health care team will work together to find the best way to make sure your blood levels return to normal after surgery.

Hemoglobin is the most important part of a red blood cell. The protein carries oxygen from your lungs to your tissues. Hemoglobin also takes carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. You breathe out the carbon dioxide when you exhale.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Knee Replacement, seventh edition, ortho-ah-90140
First Published: 10/01/2000
Last Reviewed: 02/01/2020