Low-dose aspirin is strongly recommended for prevention of a heart attack
in patients with known cardiac risk factors. These risk factors include previous heart
attack, coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, poor kidney function, and insulin
dependent diabetes mellitus. Patients are commonly instructed to discontinue low-dose
aspirin before surgery because of the anti-platelet effect of the drug may increase surgical
bleeding and surgical complications. Despite these concerns, there is evidence that
patients who take low-dose aspirin prior to surgery have less risk of heart attack, and do
not have an increased number of complications from surgical bleeding.
Low dose aspirin should be continued in the perioperative period for patients with cardiac risk factors who are scheduled for non-cardiac surgery.
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