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Management of patients taking anticoagulant, aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and other anti-platelet drugs undergoing dermatological surgery

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Clifford Lawrence


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An increasing number of patients who require surgical treatment for skin tumours also take anticoagulants or anti-platelet drugs to prevent thromboembolic events. Stopping therapy places the patient at risk from a thromboembolic event, whilst continuing treatment places them at risk from bleeding complications during surgery. We have reviewed all of the published studies of the effects of warfarin, aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and other anti-platelet drugs on surgical outcome in patients having skin surgical procedures. There is little evidence that continuing with treatment is harmful in any of these groups with the exception of warfarin therapy, where the risk of haemorrhagic complications is presumably dependent on the degree of anticoagulation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stables G, Lawrence CM

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical and Experimental Dermatology

Year: 2002

Volume: 27

Issue: 6

Pages: 432-435

ISSN (print): 0307-6938

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2230


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2230.2002.01097.x