Stopping plavix for surgery

I posted a few weeks ago about stopping my plavix for surgery. I was off it for 10 days, had surgery and now 3 days later went back on. I just wanted to post that I had no chest pain and everything turned out fine. I was a little nervous and I am glad it is over.Thanks to all of you who posted your thoughts on the subject. Beth

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It's good to hear everything went well. Thanks for updating us.

Take care,

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I too am in need of surgery. I had a angioplasty and stent in June and was told I would need to wait for a year before having my surgery. I am very nervous about stopping the plavix. How long were you on it before you had surgery?


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I had a heart attack and a DES stent placed in the LAD a year ago in July. So I was on plavix over a year. However, I was going to need a lung biopsy (which I ended up not needing) 3 months after the heart attack. My cardiologist said he did not like to take me off then, but if it was something that could not wait (such as a possible malignancy) he would take me off for the surgery. Fortunately, I did not need the procedure.
Doctors probably have different opinions concerning the safety of stopping plavix for surgery. I guess the main concern is how important is the sugery...they weigh the risks and all that.

Good luck.


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I also need surgery but was told the risk of getting off Plavix was too high, for me. My surgery is elective and not a life and death situation although in constant pain. I have several stents and the risk is just too great. I am to wait 3 years and then off Plavix for not more than 6 days. If I can stay out of the Cath Lab for another few months and not need another stent, I will have surgery in February. I am hoping that soon in the future, they will find that those taking Plavix for drug coated stents will be able to stop taking Plavix after 3 -4 years with no repercussions. The verdict is too long in coming.

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Hi, I was looking at your comments and have wondered how you're doing on these stents. I have had problems with them since they were put in 2 years ago.

The coating didn't work and the scar tissue keeps occluding the stents! They had to put stents inside of stents and they've put so many stents in, that bypass is now out of the picture. I don't want to scare anyone with my situation, but I've wondered if others have re occluding.

Dr. wants me to go off plavix for gallbladder surgery since I can't tolerate statins and have gallstones, that flare. But it's been 7 months since last stent proc. and I told him I was too scared after all I've read. I want to go off but know I might be on these for life. Any research on these, what do you think? Do you think you'll stay on for life? And what exactly do you do if you need an operation? Thanks. Lauren

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My situation is different from yours as I just have one stent placed iin the LAD from sudden cardiac arrest. I have not had problems (incident 7/06) My son and daughter are both attorneys and avidly read the papers. They email me any news in any journals they read. People always suing and being written up comes in handy when determining the problems out there! There were many articles right after the had the heart attack and now there are very few articles, I do not know if one can then assume there are less issues that people are taking to attorneys or not..

I would get clearance from the cardiologist and not the gallbladder doctor. I am curious what kind of stents do you have? I think I have Cypher.

I was off plavix for 10 days due to surgery...7 days before and 3 after with out incident, I was scared with every little twinge, though. I plan to keep taking plavix indifinetely, until there are more studies done. If I needed surgery again I would go off again for 10 days, If you need emergency surgery I think there is something they can give you to thicken the blood...or so I have been told,

Good luck to you!!


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Hi Lauren, I am doing ok, I guess! I have issues but the Cardiologists (2 of them) seem not to want to rock the boat. They both indicated that had I been their patient since the onset of heart disease, they would of done things differently. One indicated, that I have stents,he felt, I did not need. )-:
I am stuck with them as they cannot be removed. Their biggest concern (and mine also) is the LAD. This is housing two DES, stents, One Taxus and One Cypher. The LAD must remain open as it feeds the distal LAD (septal-Apex area) where there is scarring from previous, MI's. (small vessel disease) The RCA has 3, DES stents. All needed? Who really knows!! One of the cardiologist is world reknown and outspoken. He does not take any guff. He also is heavily involved, researching DES stents as he too, has them.

In regards to surgery, (elective) my Cardiologist stated that HE personally talks with the surgeon.
This Cardiologist then weighs and outweighs the patient's risk AFTER talking with that surgeon. Every surgeon is different, even for the same type operation. Some surgeons do better with bleeding control than others, I was told. I found this out with Oral Surgery. Three Oral surgeons wanted me off Plavix for 7 days. I found an oral surgeon who said I could remain on Plavix. I did great with the latter, Oral Surgeon.
Lauren, has your Cardiolgist spoken with the surgeon? Have they both together, weighed the risks?

I plan on having elective surgery in a few months. I waited almost 2 years for this. No, it was not life threatening, but painful. My doctor is adamant that I not be off Plavix for more than 7 days even if it has been, three years. We do not have adequate history on drug eluting stents at this time. They have only been out since late 2003. It has been noted that a clot can form late, after the fact.

Lauren, are you near a teaching hospital for another opinion on this issue. Also, you may want to seek another opinion on the by-pass issue. I know of a lady who was told the same thing and went to the Women's Heart Center at the Cleveland Clinic for another opinion. There are also great Women Heart Centers in Rochester, MN. and also at Cedars in L.A.
Yes, I will be on Plavix for life unless "positive feedback" becomes available.
Good Luck and please let us know.

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Thanks Beth. One of my heart doctors told me research is showing people have had problems with the stents creating a clot when it was in the smaller vessels. I don't know why that would be true, none of it makes complete sense to me. After my first 3 stents(Cypher), they let me go off the plavix and I was absolutely fine for months and months. I loved being off.

It's just that the cypher stents occluded from scar tissue and I had to get more stents so I"m on it again, also they were worried when all the info came out about the clots in the news. I get the impression it just doesn't happen as much as they initially thought. Still you don't want to be the one.

I would give anything to do a lawsuit although I've never done that kind of thing in my life. The hospital I'm sure made a mistake with me because I have longstanding diabetes, they didn't offer me an options, just put the stents in, and one cardiac surgeon said, stents are notoriously bad for diabetics.

I should have had a bypass, now I can't because of the stents, and yes, I feel angry about it. I know there are serious repercussions from bypass but it gives me the creeps that I don't have options. Anyway, it's great finding this website, a friend just told me about it.

Good luck to you, you sound like you're doing okay for the moment. So am I, and appreciating every moment.


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I have bare metal stents and have the problem of them occluding too.I guess it really doesn't matter which stents they give you it is up to your body to accept them or not.Why is bypass out of the question? Just curious. Thanks Pam

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Hi, Pam. What did they do to open up your stents from the occlusion? They put a stent inside of a stent for me, but next time I don't think that's what I would want and I have a horrible hunch it's going to re occlude. Did you have a roto rooter kind of thing? How occluded are yours or have they been? I wish now I had the metal stents because I don't like being on the plavix. If there was an emergency like a car accident I'm stuck, but I try not to go there.

They can't do a bypass because the doctors put too many stents in and there's nothing the dr. can make a graph too. He said he couldn't sew into metal. They didn't leave one bit of space for someone to sew the graph. I wish I could confront them and ask them what were they thinking, but I still use them and don't want them to get angry but it's hard to shake. The cardiac surgeon more or less asked me that question(what were they thinking) and I found myself confused about how to respond. I think they all know they made a mistake or at least I would like to think that, but it's a done deal and it's my body and my life being affected . I know I sound negative but they have been a problem for me from the beginning. HOpe yours have worked well. I know someone else with the metal stents and they've worked fairly well, but it sounds like you've dealt with re occlusion also, how often?

take care, Lauren

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I had a cath on 11/5/07 The doc used a rotor blade to clean out the scar tissue and I had another stent but not a stent inside a stent.I believe I have an issue going on again.I see the doc on12/31 That cath made the 7th cath since 5/23/06. One led to cabgx2 ,3times I have had stents put in.I have chronic chest pain the doc said he won't take me off Plavix because of the issues I have.It was only supposed to be a year but with all the problems I have had it is forever.I had scar tissue from the bypass 4 monthes after the surgery that started the round of caths and stents.Every doctor treats things differently and everybodys body deals with things differently..I am one of the lucky ones because my doctors listen to me I see a local cardiologist and every 3 months I go to the Women's Cardiovascular Center at the Cleveland Clinic.I have had 3 caths done there and they write or fax my doc here and let him know everything they find.It has been a long 20 months Dr Ferris at the Clinic told my daughter it would take at least 5 years for the effects of my smoking for 39 years to quit showing up on my heart.However they have now found emphysema and that can never be reversed.Gotta love family history.My 57 yr old sister had a MI 3weeks ago and my 47 year old sister had an Icd put in 3 years ago.We just keep on dealing everyday.I research every med or procedure before anything is done.

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