The risk of post-operative complications in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients on biologic therapy undergoing surgical procedures.

W Bakkour, H Purssell, Hector Chinoy, CEM Griffiths, RB Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: There is limited evidence as to whether biologic therapy should be stopped or continued in patients with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis (PsA) who are undergoing surgical procedures. Current guidelines of care recommend a planned break from biologic therapy in those undergoing major surgical procedures. OBJECTIVE: To audit current practice of managing biologic therapy peri-operatively in a tertiary referral psoriasis clinic against guidelines of care and to investigate the effects of continuing/stopping biologic therapy in psoriasis and PsA patients. METHODS: A retrospective audit of psoriasis and PsA patients who had a surgical procedure whilst on biologic therapy. A proforma was used to collect information on the biologics used, whether they were stopped peri-operatively and whether patients developed post-operative complications and/or disease flare. RESULTS: A total of 42 patients who had 77 procedures were identified. Procedures ranged from skin surgery to orthopaedic and cardiothoracic surgery. Biologic therapy was continued in the majority of procedures (76%). There was no significant difference in post-operative risk of infection and delayed wound healing between those patients who continued and those who stopped biologic therapy, including those undergoing major surgery. Interrupting biologic therapy peri-operatively was associated with a significant (P = 0.003) risk of flare of psoriasis or PsA. CONCLUSION: Continuing biologic therapy in psoriasis and PsA patients peri-operatively did not increase the risk of post-operative complications. Interrupting biologic therapy peri-operatively significantly increased the risk of disease flare. This study is limited by cohort size and requires replication, ideally in a prospective randomized controlled manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number1
Early online date2 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2015


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