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Blood Thinners Before Bariatric Surgery

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Apart from taking your medical history into consideration you will be given a comprehensive checklist of what to do before your bariatric surgery  one of them being discontinuing blood thinners before bariatric surgery.

It is recommended that you stop taking aspirin and other blood thinners 2 weeks prior to surgery, and anti-clotting drugs 2 days before weight loss surgery in order to prevent severe bleeding through the procedure. Thus, it becomes imperative to discuss and disclose all prescription and over-the-counter drugs that you may be taking to your bariatric surgeon.

Why Discontinue with Blood Thinners?

The rationale behind use of blood thinners is simple – prevention of blood clots. But, by thinning the blood, we increase the risk for bleeding and lower the chances of recuperation.

Although, the surgeon performing the surgery may ask you to start with anticoagulants within 18-24 hrs into the surgery but, this may not be possible in case the surgeon fears the onset of bleeding.

A 2016 published study by Sunkara T and colleagues states that – “the aim of pre-operative DOAC (direct oral anticoagulants) interruption is to seek minimal or no residual anticoagulant effect at the time of procedure1.”

The study also suggests that in case there is major bleeding due to anticoagulants, it is directly linked to delayed wound healing, immobilization and extended hospitalization1.

Note: The main aim is to increase the efficacy of the procedure while maintaining safety of the patient. Consult your doctor/surgeon before discontinuing with blood thinners.


1. Sunkara T, Ofori E, Zarubin V, Caughey ME, Gaduputi V, Reddy M. Perioperative Management of Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs): A Systemic Review. Health Services Insights. 2016;9(Suppl 1):25-36. doi:10.4137/HSI.S40701. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5156547/

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