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Free Content A survey of the peri-operative management of urological patients on clopidogrel

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INTRODUCTION: Peri-operative management of patients receiving platelet inhibitors, such as clopidogrel presents a dilemma to surgeons in every surgical specialty including urology. The risk of procedure-related bleeding while continuing clopidogrel needs to be weighed against the risk of thrombo-embolism after discontinuing it. The objective of the survey was to determine current UK practice regarding clopidogrel use/cessation in patients undergoing elective urological procedures.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A 10-part questionnaire relating to pre- and postoperative clopidogrel use was mailed to all UK urology consultants listed in the British Association of Urological Surgeons' directory.

RESULTS: A total of 570 questionnaires were sent and 297 (52%) were returned. The majority of respondents stop clopidogrel prior to TUR surgery (96.6%), major urological surgery (91.7%), TRUS biopsy (90.6%), ESWL (81.8%) and cystoscopy and biopsy (70.1%). The time clopidogrel was stopped pre-operatively and restarted postoperatively was very variable and dependent on local guidelines or urologist preference. Almost half (49.5%) of the respondents would stop clopidogrel irrespective of its indication and 40.7% never consulted a cardiologist/haematologist before stopping clopidogrel. Less than half (43.4%) had a protocol/guideline in place concerning stopping clopidogrel before surgery. Of respondents, 43% do not routinely prescribe bridging therapy after discontinuing clopidogrel. Over half (55%) reported bleeding complications in patients who continued their clopidogrel during urological procedures and 22 (7.4%) of respondents reported an adverse thrombo-embolic event after stopping clopidogrel. The vast majority of respondents (92.8%) felt evidence-based guidelines on clopidogrel use during the peri-operative period would be useful.

CONCLUSIONS: This survey has highlighted a significant variation in practice with regards to pre- and postoperative management of clopidogrel in patients undergoing urological procedures. The results of this survey highlight the need for evidence-based guidelines for the peri-operative management of patients on clopidogrel.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Urology, Ealing Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England is the official journal of the College and is published eight times a year in January, March, April, May, July, September, October and November. The main aim of the journal is to publish high quality, peer-reviewed papers that relate to all branches of surgery.

    The Annals also includes letters and comments, a regular technical section, NICE news, controversial topics, CORESS feedback, book reviews and the best trainee presentations from England and Wales. The editorial board is composed of members of the College Council and experts from across the surgical specialties.

    Archive issues of the Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England are available via the PubMed Central database

    To view articles that have been published online ahead of print please click here
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