Perioperative Care

    Version as of 14:50, 26 Feb 2021

    to this version.

    Return to Version archive.

    View current version





    • Rather than providing "clearance" for surgery, perioperative medicine should focus on three objectives:
    1. Optimize baseline health and chronic disease mgmt
    2. Assess risk + discussion to ensure informed choice is made
    3. Identify post-op risks


    Preoperative Testing

    • Routine diagnostic tests are NOT indicated preoperatively.
      • Multiple studies: poor yield + poor risk correlation
      • Choosing wisely: Recommends against routine labs & imaging for healthy patients undergoing low-risk surgery (i.e. eye).
      • Let patient-specific factors guide, examples:
        • Serum electrolytes in patients on diuretics
        • Creatinine in CKD


    • Medication reconciliation.  Notes:
      • Transplant recipients:
        • Keep all meds (Except sirolimus: hold due to wound dehiscence)
      • Non-Transplant patients:
        • DMARDS + biologics: stop > 4 half-lives prior to surgery.  Restart when wounds heal. (2-4w after surgery).
        • Continue methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine (do not impact wound healing)
        • Medication  Recommendation

          Continue for minor surgery, d/c for major.

          IV heparin 4-6h pre-op

          LMWH: 24h pre-op (12h if prophylactic dose)

          Warfarin: 5 days

          TSOAC: 1-2d (normal GFR), 3-6d (eGFR < 50)


          Clopidogrel: d/c 5-7d pre-op, continue if cardiac stent

          ASA: Continue if minor OR.  Continue  if recent MI (6mo), stent, high risk CAD.  Or discontinue 7-10d pre-op (other than CABG)


          Continue BB, CCB, nitrates, antiarrhythmics.

          ARB/ACEi controversial (intra-op hypotension), usually continue, diuretics often held on day of OR

          Lipid Lowering Coninue statins (hold other lipid lowering drugs)

          Oral hypoglycemic agents: d/c 12-72hrs pre-OP (depends on half-life and hypoglycemia risk)

          Short-Acting Insulin: Hold AM of OR

          Intermediate-acting: Reduce to 1/2 (usually)

          Long-acting: coninue, or reduce to 2/3

          Steroids Coninue; Give stress dose if indicated
          Estrogen D/c few weeks pre-op (if continue, increase DVT proph)

          Small risk of serotonin syndrome w/ anesthetics (weigh risks/benefits)

          MAOIs d/c 10-14 pre-op, SSRI/TCA decide or taper

          Analgesic NSAIDs and COX-2 inh are d/c 7d preop.

          Transplant recipients: 

          • Keep all meds (Except sirolimus: hold due to wound dehiscence)

          Non-Transplant patients: 

          • DMARDS + biologics: stop > 4 half-lives prior to surgery.  Restart when wounds heal. (2-4w after surgery).
          • Continue methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine (do not impact wound healing)


          GI (PPI, H2B)



          Generally continue


    Landmark Trials

    • POISE Trial: Post-OP MI is 5% at 30 days.
      • Defined as: troponin elevation. (problem)
    • MINS Trial: 
    • Peri-OP MI: supply/demand mismatch (catecholamines, stress, reduced fibrinolytic activity, hypercoagulability, BP shifts, induction agents and labile BP, tahycardia).
      • Study: plaque rupture 50% of cases. 
    • Landmark trials:
      • CARP (Like COURAGE TRIAL for stable coronary disease, but same for peri-operative).
        • Major vascular surgery randomized to revascularization with cath or CABG.  (for vascular surgery). 
        • Prior revasc excluded.
        • No difference, so if stable coronary disease
      • POISE I
        • 8000pts, multicenter RCT, RCRI (intermediate/highrisk pts).
        • metoprolol 100mg 2-4hrs pre-op then 200mg po x30d. (criticism: high doses!)
        • CV death, nonfatal MI, fatal MI --> LESS EVENTS IN CV GROUP.  Stroke risk was higher likely due to hypotension (significantly).  So Risk vs. Benefit 
        • CONCLUSION: Continue BB if on them chronically.  In patients with intermediate/high risk of ischemia may be reasonable to begin BB, but start few weeks before (>1w).  Do not give BB on day of surgery.
      • POISE II
        • ASA on day of CV surgery.
          • 200mg of ASA on day of surgery, followed by 100mg daily for 30d. (if on asa previously, stop for 72hrs, then do this). 
          • Post-op trop 6-12hrs, day 1 and day 3.  
          • NO DIFFERENCE in MI, death, non-fatal MI. INCREASED bleeding risk. 
          • Restart 8-10 days post-op when bleeding risk is lower.
    • Perioperative low-dose clonidine (discontinue usual anti-hypertensives the morning of surgery, given clonidine).
      • Did not reduce MI, but more non-fatal cardiac arrests in clonidine group. 
      • More hypotension and bradycardia in clonidine group. 
    • Statins:
      • DECREASE III trial
        • Excluded if on statin already.
        • Used fluvastatin 37d prior to surgery.  (fluvastatin = long half-life).  
        • Outcome: MI, ischemia on ECG, trop elevation etc,, 
        • Fewer MIs in fluvastatin group. 
        • Conclusion: DO NOT stop statins, continue.
        • Conclusion: if vascular patient not on statins, can start one.
    • DO NOT workup/treat things that you wouldn't want to do if they were not going for surgery.


    Components of Peri-Op Assessment

    Cardiac Risk

    • Identify RF's of complications.
    • Establish risk profile, help make informed decision about surgery.
    • MACE = Major Adverse Coronary Event
    • Surgery Risk Factors
      • Low < 1% risk of MACE
        • Endoscopic, superficial, cataract, breast, ambulatory
      • High ≥ 1% MACE
        • Vascular, intraperitoneal, intrathoracic, head&neck, suprainguinal.
    • Patient Risk Factors:
      • Functional Capacity: METs
      • LEE Index/RCRI
        • Most common
        • Underestimates risk of vasc surgery (use VSG-CRI)
        • Not Surgery specific.
        • Score 0-3: risk 0.4% - 11%)
        • Score ≥ 2 = >1% risk of MACE = high risk. 
      • VSG-CRI:  If Vascular surgery (Vascular Surgery Group)
        • Carotid en
      • Gupta
        • ASA class, procedure type, etc.. 
        • Easy to use.