I was told to avoid NSAID's during the post-op period. Were they referring to the immediate post-op period or is it okay to take them weeks after the procedure?
Taking NSAIDs Post-op
Doctor Answers 4
NSAIDS and surgery
The most conservative answer is avoid aspirin and NSAIDS two weeks before and after surgery.
However NSAIDS and aspirin work differently. While aspirin "poisons" all platelets in the body (which help coagulate blood and therefore stop bleeding), and new platelets must be remanufactured by the body at about 20,000 per day, NSAIDS only inhibit platelet function while they are in the bloodstream, very different from the aspirin mechanism.
So the effect on platelets and therefore bleeding is very different for the two classes of drugs.
Some patients with chronic back pain many be able to take their NSAIDS up to 5 days before the surgery, and resume 5 days after, depending of course on the type of surgery and the doctor's recommendations.
At least 2 weeks after surgery, please
I request that NSAIDs be avoided for 2 weeks before AND after surgery to minimize the risk of postoperative bleeding. I also request that patients keep their heart rates and blood pressure normal during that 2 week postop period for the same reason.
I advise my patients to avoid NSAID's for the immediate post operative period. Depending on the procedures performed that may last from 1 day to two weeks. Some of the NSAID's have a risk of increasing bleeding. Depending on the medication though, the risk may be fairly minor and not outweigh the benefit on the medication. As always - check with your surgeon about his/her recommendation.