Perioperative medication management is vital to maintain patient safety while under anesthesia, as well as to avoid postoperative complications. Plastic surgeons make daily decisions on whether to ask a patient to stop taking medication before their surgery. These important decisions can affect bleeding risk, wound healing, and interactions with anesthetics, which can range from minor to life-threatening. Current plastic surgery literature lacks a comprehensive review of perioperative medication management, with existing reports focusing on specific procedures and specific medication classes.
A PubMed database search was conducted for articles through July 2021. The bibliographies of included studies were also examined for articles not acquired in the initial search queries. The authors included studies on medication usage and perioperative guidance in patients undergoing elective plastic surgery procedures. The authors excluded studies unrelated to plastic surgery and studies where the medications were used as an intervention. Abstracts, animal studies, studies involving the pediatric population, and book chapters were also excluded, as well as articles not published in English.
A total of 801 papers were identified by our search terms. After title and abstract screening, 35 papers were selected for full-text review. After full-text review, 20 papers were selected for inclusion, with an additional 6 papers from cited references added. Of the 26 papers, 6 papers discussed psychotropic drugs, 6 papers discussed medications affecting hemostasis, 4 papers discussed hormone-containing medications, 3 papers discussed antilipid medications, 2 papers discussed antihypertensive medications, 2 papers discussed herbal supplements, 1 paper discussed both psychotropic and herbal supplements, 1 paper discussed medications affecting wound healing, and 1 paper discussed rheumatologic medications. A summary of those recommendations was then compiled together.
The perioperative medication management in elective plastic surgery procedures remains a complex and multidisciplinary process. It is important to manage these patients in a case-by-case manner and to consult a specialist when necessary. Careful medication reconciliation is essential to decrease the likelihood of adverse outcomes and interactions with perioperative anesthetics.