Perioperative Management of Antithrombotic Therapy in Common Otolaryngologic Surgical Procedures: State of the Art Review

Wayne D Hsueh, Peter H Hwang, Waleed M Abuzeid
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2015, 153 (4): 493-503

OBJECTIVE: The perioperative management of patients undergoing otolaryngologic procedures is increasingly complicated by the use of newer antithrombotic agents. Furthermore, with advances in anesthesia and surgical technique, otolaryngologists are presented with the challenge of operating on patients with advanced comorbid diseases. The objective of this review is to provide evidence-based recommendations on perioperative antithrombotic management for common otolaryngologic procedures.


REVIEW METHODS: Selected literature on patient-specific thromboembolic risk, rate of bleeding complications in otolaryngologic procedures, and the interruption of antithrombotic therapy is reviewed and interpreted by expert opinion.

CONCLUSIONS: By stratifying patients into either low thromboembolic risk (≤ 5%) or high thromboembolic risk (> 5%) and interpreting this in the context of procedural bleed risk and potential clinical consequences in the event of a bleed, otolaryngologists can make evidence-based decisions to determine the appropriate perioperative management of antithrombotic therapy.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: When the perioperative management of antithrombotic therapy is being decided, 3 critical factors must be considered systematically: the patient's inherent thromboembolic risk, the risk and potential consequences of bleeding related to the procedure, and the timing of interruption of thromboembolic therapy.

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