What You Need to Know about Eliquis and Surgery

Wednesday 2 October 2019
Eliquis

Table of Contents


I. There are risks to surgery when you take Eliquis.

  a. Bleeding

  b. A Spinal Cord Blood Clot (In Some Cases)

II. So you have to prepare properly if you want to go through surgery.

  a. Write down questions to ask your doctor.

  b. Inform the surgeon about your medical history.

III. Depending on your history, your surgery may change slightly.

  a. If you’re high-risk, you’ll likely go through bridging therapy.

  b. If you’re low-risk, you may be able to temporarily stop taking Eliquis.

IV. But remember that you have health-care professionals there to help you.


Thinking about undergoing surgery in the near future? If you also happen to take Eliquis, you may need a bit more preparation than most.

And that’s where we come in. Here at Rx Connected, we may not be doctors, but we can offer you a general idea of what to expect. So join us as we go into detail on what you need to know about Eliquis and surgery.

A yellow triangular sign attached to a pole depicts a cartoon man slipping on a road.

There are risks to surgery when you take Eliquis.

First off, keep in mind that you’ll have a couple more risks to navigate than the average patient. So you’ll want to prepare for them before undergoing surgery. To do that, let’s explore the following risks you might expect.

Bleeding

The more common risk you might expect is easy bleeding.[1] After all, as an anticoagulant, Eliquis thins your blood, making it harder for your blood to clot. This also makes it harder for your body to staunch any bleeding. But it is great at preventing harmful blood clot conditions, such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

Unfortunately, it’s not so great if you’re planning on having a surgery that is likely to cause bleeding. While on Eliquis, that surgery could be life-threatening.[2]

Of course, it depends upon the type of surgery. If it’s a minor surgery like a dental procedure, the risk will be much smaller. However, if it’s a major surgery like one for a hip replacement, the risk will be greater.

A Spinal Cord Blood Clot (In Some Cases)

In other cases, you could end up with a spinal cord blood clot.[3] This can cause long-term paralysis. But it’s only likely to happen if you undergo a spinal tap or epidural while on Eliquis. The following conditions could also increase its likelihood:

  • Putting a spinal catheter in place or removing it recently or otherwise
  • Having a history of spinal surgery or spinal taps
  • Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)

On a desk, there are written notes next to an eraser, some pencils, a cell phone, and a pair of scissors.

So you have to prepare properly if you want to go through surgery.

Now that you know the risks involved with surgery and Eliquis, you’ll want to minimize them. And you can do that by considering the following.

Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Your doctor will know a great deal about your condition and any associated risks. So make use of this knowledge! Think up any questions that you feel would help you better prepare for your surgery.

To start, think of these questions:

  • What should you expect during surgery?
  • Will Eliquis affect it?
  • Should you stop taking Eliquis before undergoing surgery?
  • What can you do to minimize any risks during surgery?

Inform the surgeon about your medical history.

Once your doctor’s been able to provide you with all the information you need, it’s time to consider your surgeon. It’s true that your doctor has probably passed on your medical history to them. But you’re better safe than sorry. So make sure you let your surgeon know about your Eliquis dose and anything else that you feel is relevant.

A doctor is holding a clipboard about a patient’s medical history with Eliquis.

Depending on your history, your surgery may change slightly.

Once your surgeon knows your medical history, they may choose to change how they approach your surgery.[4] For instance, how at-risk you are for thromboembolism (i.e., a blood clot forming within a blood vessel) could determine whether you’re able to stop taking Eliquis during surgery.

If you’re high-risk, you’ll likely go through bridging therapy.

So, if you’re at a high risk for thromboembolism, you likely won’t be able to stop taking Eliquis during surgery. Instead, your surgeon will probably use bridging therapy.[5] This type of therapy involves using short-acting blood thinners in place of Eliquis or another blood thinner. This will minimize the risk of thromboembolisms. However, it may increase your risk of bleeding.

If you’re low-risk, you may be able to temporarily stop taking Eliquis.

But if you’re not likely to get a thromboembolism, you may be asked to stop taking Eliquis temporarily. For surgeries with a high risk of bleeding, expect to stop your Eliquis dose 48 hours before the procedure.[6] For low-risk surgeries, expect to stop your Eliquis dose just 24 hours before the procedure.

A doctor’s hand is shaking the hand of a patient.

But remember that you have health-care professionals there to help you.

No matter how you and your surgeon prepare, it can always be a little nerve-wracking to undergo surgery. Eliquis can add extra complications to the procedure too.

But regardless, you have a whole surgery team looking out for you. So don’t worry too much! Just make your concerns and medical history known. And in turn, the health-care professionals will do their best to keep you happy and healthy.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.