Novel oral anticoagulants in plastic surgery

C F Munson, A J Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have emerged as a good alternative to warfarin in the prevention of stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation. NOAC use is increasing rapidly; therefore, greater understanding of their use in the perioperative period is important for optimal care. Studies and reviews that reported on the use of NOACs were identified, with particular focus on the perioperative period. PubMed was searched for relevant articles published between January 2000 and August 2015. The inevitable rise in the use of NOACs such as rivaroxaban (Xarelto™), apixaban (Eliquis™), edoxaban (Lixiana™) and dabigatran (Pradaxa™) may present a simplified approach to perioperative anticoagulant management due to fewer drug interactions, rapidity of onset of action and relatively short half-lives. Coagulation status, however, cannot reliably be monitored and no antidotes are currently available. When planning for discontinuation of NOACs, special consideration of renal function is required. Advice regarding the management of bleeding complications is provided for consideration in emergency surgery. In extreme circumstances, haemodialysis may be considered for bleeding with the use of dabigatran. NOACs will increasingly affect operative planning in plastic surgery. In order to reduce the incidence of complications associated with anticoagulation, the management of NOACs in the perioperative period requires knowledge of the time of last dose, renal function and the bleeding risk of the planned procedure. Consideration of these factors will allow appropriate interpretation of the current guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-93
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery : JPRAS
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2016


  • Administration, Oral
  • Algorithms
  • Anticoagulants/administration & dosage
  • Dabigatran/administration & dosage
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Kidney/metabolism
  • Liver/metabolism
  • Perioperative Care
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage/chemically induced
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pyrazoles/administration & dosage
  • Pyridines/administration & dosage
  • Pyridones/administration & dosage
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
  • Rivaroxaban/administration & dosage
  • Thiazoles/administration & dosage


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