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Anemia (cont.)

Anemia Surgery

There are no specific surgical interventions for the treatment of anemia. However, depending on the causes of the anemia, surgery may be a treatment option. For example, if colon cancer or uterine cancer that slowly bleeds is the cause of anemia, then surgical removal of the cancer could potentially treat the anemia.

Anemia Follow-up

Follow-up care for anemia will depend on its type. Most will require repeat blood counts. Also, repeat visits to the doctor's office are generally recommended in order to determine the response to treatment.

Anemia Prevention

Some common forms of anemia are most easily prevented by eating a healthy diet and limiting alcohol use. Many types of anemia can be avoided by seeing a doctor regularly to check blood tests and when problems arise. In the elderly, routine blood work ordered by the doctor, even if there are no symptoms, may detect anemia and prompt the doctor to look for the underlying causes.

Anemia Prognosis

How well someone with anemia will recover depends on the cause of the anemia and how severe it is. For example, if a stomach ulcer is causing anemia because of bleeding then the anemia can be cured if the ulcer is treated and the bleeding stops. If anemia is caused by kidney failure, however, then it most likely will require long-term monitoring and treatment.

In general, young people recover from anemia more quickly than older people do. Younger people also tolerate symptoms of anemia better than elderly people. Effects of anemia on elderly people tend to be more significant because of  more underlying chronic medical problems. Anemia makes almost any medical problem worse.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Palermo, DO, American Osteopathic Board Certified Internal Medicine

REFERENCE: Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2017

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