Plavix and Colonoscopy

Good Morning Heart Sisters,

We all have so much to give Thanks for...each day is a blessing. I have a question that many of you may have dealt with. I am scheduled for a colonoscopy and endoscopy (I have a history of polyps in the colon and stomach). My GI doctor does not want me to stop the plavix or aspirin (my last stent was in April). I know I may require a biopsy and that makes me a little nervous (the doctor is a hemorrhage specialist, which gives me some comfort); but, the what if's are driving me batty.

Report post

17 replies. Join the discussion

If your doctor is a hemorrhage specialist, I wouldn't worry too much. I had a lower GI and colonoscopy a year and a half ago. At that time, with 2 stents, I was told not to take the Plavix or Aspirin 48 hours before the procedure, in case any biopsies were needed. I think it depends on the patient and the doctor. What ifs' can cause a lot more stress, sometimes, than what actually happens. Try to take a deep breath and trust your instincts. If you trust the doctor, don't worry!

Take care -


Report post

I had my stent in July and an endoscopy in Sept with no problems. I didn't even have to stop the Plavix and asprin. I also had biopsies. This shouldn't be a problem. Good luck.

Report post

thanks for the info...I'll sleep better tonight.

Report post

I had 3 endoscopes & 3 colonoscopies while taking Plavix and 352mg of aspirin. Both the gastrointerologist and cardiologist told me not to stop taking them, but to hold off on the morning dose the day of the procedure and then take it after it was all done.

Good Luck!

Report post

Thanks Kathe,
I read your profile and it's interesting the similarities so many of us have... it so important to be our own advocate and to have the love and support and our heart sisters.

Thank you all, you're the best!!

Report post

I had a colonoscopy 3 years ago and I did not have to stop the Plavix and 81 mg Aspirin.

Not to stray from the subject, but what is the difference between endoscopes, flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopies?

After doing the stool samples, I was just told to call to set up an appointment to have a "flexible sigmoidoscopy" done at the hospital as an outpatient. I am getting totally confused about all these different terminologies. The nurse said that I had to do the usual (colonoscopy type) prep the day before and that I would be sedated???

Report post

Hi Renate - I'm a nurse practitioner and can provide an explanation of the procedures:
Endoscopy is done through the mouth and explores the esophagus and stomach
Flexible sigmoid is done rectally and examines from the rectal area through the large intestine
Colonoscopy is done rectally and goes beyond the large intestine into the small intestine and is considered the gold standard.
Which procedure is chosen depends on your particular symptoms and what your health provider is looking for.
Hope this helps - judythe

Report post

My brother has colonoscopies regularly. He has a stent. His doctor takes him off the plavix and aspirin for a day or two before and a day or two after. It is kind of crazy that every doctor is different. You would think there would be standard protocols for these things. No wonder it is so hard to do research.

Report post

Thanks so much for your great explanation, judythe.

Report post

I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy last year. I had to go off the aspirin and plavix prior to the procedure. I think it depends on the doctor. Check with your cardiologist or GP if you want. They should be able to give advice about this. Kareno

Report post

My information (according to two cardios) is that Plavix is used for one year, when eluted stents are involved. If a base metal stent is placed, then the timing is shorter and more flexible. Hope this helps.

Report post

My mom & sister (a nurse) both had the "flexible sigmoidoscopy" done at Kaiser and they were not given any sedating type or pain meds. They both reported significant pain, even though they were told that they would NOT need any medication and that it would NOT be painful. So if you hear something similar to this beware. In this day and age of modern medicine they can make the procedure painless, if they want to.

Your mileage my vary, but here's my two cents. It's a load of crap! I wouldn't let them touch me without some kind of pain and/or sedating meds on board. You would just have to have someone drive you home after the procedure and it's well worth the inconvience.

A sigmoid only goes up part way (dare I say it, it's half assed). I prefer to have doctors base medical decisions and treatment on the complete information that is available to make a diagnosis. I don't want them basing their decisions on what the first half of what my colon looks like and then guessing that the other half looks the same.

Also, since you have to through the whole colon prep, you just might as well get the whole colonoscopy. Because you probably won't enjoy another colon prep when they decide/realize that you really should have had the colonoscopy in the FIRST PLACE considering your medical history "of polyps in the colon and stomach".

Try to ask for color pictures of your insides when you are scoped. Mine looked like the surface of some strange planet!

About the Plavix and Aspirin - The recommendations kept changing since my 1st sent in 8/2004, I have never been off of them. Now with my last 2 stents in 10/2008 I was told that I have to stay on both for the rest of my life. Has anyone else been told they have to stay on them for their lifetime?

Good Luck!

Report post

I am on Plavix and Aspirin for the rest of my life, also.

Report post

I am on plavix and aspirin for the rest of my life due to a history of congestive heart failure and 2 stents.Neither doctor would let me off the meds and I had an upper endoscopy and lower Gi 2 months ago with biopsies.I was fine.My dr was also a specialist with hemorrhage.It was simple and easy tho I was also nervous that they would not let me off my meds.He told me to take a stool softenr to aid in any constipation I would have from the prep.Best of luck to you.Sounds like you are in good hands!

Report post

Thanks to all who responded. I went through my colonoscopy and endoscopy with flying colors. It's the first time I haven't had polyps on any of my tests. Life is GOOD!!!!

Report post

Low Pulse after flexible sigmoid procedure.

I had my sigmoid last Friday at the hospital. I had to prep the day before (pretty much like for a colonoscopy). Then at the hospital they gave me a Demerol drip. I was out like a light. –I thought that was a little overkill for a sigmoid.
Now to my problem: After the procedure my pulse stayed in the low 30s and I did not really want to wake up. The hospital nurse seemed very concerned and called my cardiologist. At first they talked about admitting me, which totally freaked me out. After a few hours of sitting up and my husband trying to keep me talking, they let me go. I had to promise to make an appointment with my cardiologist, which is for tomorrow.
Has that ever happened to anybody else here? I just wonder if I even have to see my cardiologist.

Report post

Hi Renate,

"After the procedure my pulse stayed in the low 30s and I did not really want to wake up. The hospital nurse seemed very concerned and called my cardiologist. At first they talked about admitting me, which totally freaked me out. After a few hours of sitting up and my husband trying to keep me talking, they let me go."

This must have been pretty alarming at the time. I'm a little disturbed you were sent home. Let us know what your cardio says about the medications affecting your heart rate.

take care,

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support WomenHeart

Help WomenHeart reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to  WomenHeart

Discussion topics

Heart health links and resources

The SCAD Ladies Stand Up -- Read the special report

Community leaders


The information provided by this online support network through WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and Inspire is for general informational purposes only. The information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. If you are ill, or suspect that you are ill, see a doctor immediately. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease never recommends or endorses any specific physicians, products or treatments for any condition.