Perioperative Cardiovascular Medication Management in Noncardiac Surgery: Common Questions

Michael A. Mikhail, Arya Mohabbat, Amit Ghosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Several medications have been used perioperatively in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery in an attempt to improve outcomes. Antiplatelet therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular events should generally be discontinued seven to 10 days before surgery to avoid increasing the risk of bleeding, unless the risk of a major adverse cardiac event exceeds the risk of bleeding. Antiplatelet therapy for secondary prevention should be continued perioperatively, except before procedures with very high bleeding risk, such as intracranial procedures. Antiplatelet drugs should be continued and surgery delayed, if possible, for at least 14 days after percutaneous coronary intervention without stent placement, 30 days after percutaneous coronary intervention with bare-metal stent placement, and six to 12 months after percutaneous coronary intervention with drug-eluting stent placement. Perioperative beta blockers are recommended for patients already receiving these agents, and it is reasonable to consider starting therapy in patients with known or strongly suspected coronary artery disease or who are at high risk of perioperative cardiac events and are undergoing procedures with a high risk of cardiovascular complications. Long-term statin therapy should be continued perioperatively or started in patients with clinical indications who are not already receiving statins. Clonidine should not be started perioperatively, but long-term clonidine regimens may be continued. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers generally can be continued perioperatively if patients are hemodynamically stable and have good renal function and normal electrolyte levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-650
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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