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Case report: The management of advanced oral cancer in a Jehovah's Witness using the Ultracision Harmonic Scalpel

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Author(s): Kullar Peter | Sorenson Kristian | Weerakkody Ruwan | Adams James

Journal: World Journal of Surgical Oncology
ISSN 1477-7819

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 115;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Harmonic scalpel | Head and neck cancer | Jehovah's Witness

ABSTRACT
Abstract We present the first case of a head and neck oncological procedure accomplished in a Jehovah's Witness using the Ultracision Harmonic Scalpel (Ethicon, Cincinnati, OH). Jehovah's Witnesses present a serious challenge to the head and neck cancer surgeon due to their refusal to accept transfusion of any blood products. However, our experience reinforces the view that surgical management of head and neck cancer is possible in these patients. We show the Harmonic Scalpel, an ultrasonic tissue dissector, to be a useful surgical tool in obviating the need for blood transfusion. Preoperative optimisation, intra-operative surgical and anaesthetic techniques are also fully discussed.
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