OK to Continue Aspirin Therapy Up to Pancreatic Surgery

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 (Last Updated: 08/01/2013)

WEDNESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Patients on aspirin therapy do not have higher rates of perioperative bleeding, transfusion, or major procedure-related complications following elective pancreatic surgery, according to research published online July 26 in Surgery.

Andrea M. Wolf, M.D., of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich., and colleagues conducted a retrospective, observational study using data from 1,017 patients who underwent pancreatic resection. Of these, 289 (28.4 percent) were continued on prescribed aspirin therapy through the morning of the surgery.

The researchers found that patients in the aspirin cohort were older than those in the non-aspirin cohort (median age, 69 versus 62 years; P < 0.0001). No difference between the cohorts was observed for estimated intraoperative blood loss, rate of blood transfusion during the index admission, duration of postoperative hospital stay, rate of pancreatic fistula, or rate of hospital readmission.

"Despite many surgeons' fears that preoperative aspirin use increases bleeding, this study (among others in non-pancreatic surgery) shows that this apprehension appears unfounded," the authors write.

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