Coumadin, Plavix and Cataract Surgery

Have ICD and take 81mg aspirin, coumadin, Lipitor (*hmmn?) and since I just got a DES stent last month, now take Plavix that the cardiologists want me to take for a year. Problem is I need cataract surgery in at least one eye (probably both). Cardiologist says do NOT stop Plavix for a week or a day. Eye doctor reluctant to do surgery while I'm on the stuff. Now of course, I have an eye exam for my driver's license coming up in 6 months!

Anyone have cataract surgery while on these drugs?

* read an older post here where a side effect of Lipitor is cataracts-sort of like if your cholesterol goes down you won't be able to read it anyway ;-)


Drugs and your cataract surgery

by maryanne - 2008-07-31 08:07:28

You are on potent blood thining agents and the Plavix is imperative for your stent. Most surgeon will not do surgery if a patient is on any blood thining agents as the risk of intra and postoperative bleeds are much higher. I have not heard of surgeries unless emergency surgery being done on anyone who is an all the blood thinning agents that you are on. All those agents work on different levels of the clotting cascade and their half life in your system for each drug is different. For example....lots of people are on 81 mg Asprin/day....whenever they have to have a procedure they are told to stop the asprin 1 week prior to procedure...that is how long it takes asprin to clear your system.

Sorry I am not bringing you news I am sure you wanted to hear. I wish I was wrong but I don't believe I am....further investigation on your part is a really good idea....all the very best......please keep us posted...I am very interested myself to hear if anyone has had a procedure while on these drugs.


by Bionic Beat - 2008-07-31 08:07:57

I agree with Maryanne, most docs won't operate while you're on those blood thinners.

When I've needed surgery, they've switched me (in the hospital) to a short acting heparin so that they can control the levels better, to within 6 hours of the surgery.

You take the shots & coumadin for a week, post op, under constant supervision til it's thinned out again.

So, surgery can be done....but it might be a good idea to have the Eye Surgeon and Cardiologist speak with one another.

Then, they can come up with the best plan for a good outcome for yourself.

Good luck.

Bionic Beat

cataract surgery not a problem

by johng - 2008-08-01 04:08:20

I'm sorry to disagree with the previous two contributors.
I had cataract surgery in the USA earlier this year.
The surgeon was aware of my medication,
(Lipitor, Plavix, and Ramapril).
He was more interested in my PM. placement than the medication.
There was no bleeding from the eye during the operation.
I was given a DVD of the surgery to show my wife, as she was considering cataract surgery also.
She has had both eyes done recently and had no problems with bleeding. The different eye surgeons may have opinions on this subject.
I'm sure you should take the guidance of your surgeon before committing yourself.
Best of luck,
P.S. I can see much better when running in the evenings now.

cataract surgery and blood thinners

by mrag - 2008-09-17 04:09:12

I had cataract surgery yesterday. Eye doctor had no issues at all that I've been taking coumadin, Plavix, aspirin (and Ramipril (Altace), Lipitor, sotalol). Only real question that came up was just before the operation the anesthesiologist wanted to know the last time my ICD went off (two months ago when I got my stent).

Just had follow up visit, eye doctor quite pleased. Said cataract surgery is really a "bloodless" operation. Just for general information, this surgery is "cake" (as in very easy, painless, quick). I also opted for a "Toric" lens that corrects astigmatism (and of course insurance companies will NOT pay for), but I now have 20/20 vision. I'm happy. YMMV.

cataract surgery and drugs

by mrag - 2008-11-03 05:11:30

Just to "close out" this thread, I had my second eye (cataract) surgery a short while ago. Circumstances (namely drugs like coumadin and plavix) and doctor the same although I had the operation in another facility with a different anesthesiology group. They asked a few more general questions, but otherwise things went quite well. It would seem if your cardiologist thinks you're ok for the surgery, everything should go fine.

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