Antiplatelet and anticoagulation therapy in microlaryngeal surgery

David O. Francis, Jennifer H. Dang, Mark A. Fritz, C. Gaelyn Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis Indications for antiplatelet and anticoagulation use are expanding. There is no evidence to direct therapeutic management in patients undergoing microlaryngeal surgeries. Our aim was to compare bleeding complications between microlaryngeal surgeries performed for patients preoperatively taken off and maintained on antiplatelet and/or anticoagulation therapy. Study Design Retrospective cohort study. Methods Patients undergoing microlaryngeal surgeries (2008-2009) on baseline antiplatelet and/or anticoagulation therapy were identified. Records were reviewed to determine whether therapy was stopped preoperatively. The primary outcome, bleeding complication, was compared between those taken off and maintained on therapy. Patient characteristics, surgical data, and outcomes were assessed. Results Of 287 microlaryngeal surgeries, 26% were performed for patients on antiplatelet (23%) and/or anticoagulation (3%) therapy. There was no difference in bleeding complications between patients' naïve to and on baseline antiplatelet or anticoagulation therapy [naïve: 3.8% vs. on: 5.3%, P = 0.58] and no thromboembolic events. Among surgeries performed for patients on baseline antiplatelet therapy, 35% preoperatively stopped therapy. No observed difference in bleeding complications was observed between those taken off or maintained on therapy [off: 8.0% vs. on: 4.9%, P = 0.63]. Of 3% of surgeries performed for patients on warfarin, no bleeding complications occurred, even among the 8/10 with therapeutic international normalized ratios. Conclusions Perioperative management decisions regarding antiplatelet and anticoagulation therapy are becoming more common. Results suggest that antiplatelet therapy can be maintained during microlaryngeal surgery without increasing bleeding risk. Further prospective research is required to confirm findings and rigorously investigate the safety of continuing warfarin and other anticoagulation therapy in these surgeries. Level of Evidence 4. Laryngoscope, 124:928-934, 2014

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-934
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Antiplatelet
  • anticoagulation
  • aspirin
  • bleeding risk
  • clopidogrel
  • microlaryngeal surgery
  • warfarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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