NSAIDs and surgery

Question

I take diclofenac Voltaren in order to keep walking. How soon before elective surgery would I need to stop taking it, and how soon after could I take it.

Answer

Diclofenac is a member of the family of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  One of the effects of these drugs is to reduce normal clotting, so the risk during surgery is that bleeding will be hard to stop.  So, these drugs should be stopped about 10 days prior to surgery.  Usually, they can be restarted 1-2 weeks after surgery.  However, you should query your surgeon about these issues also as he/she may have slightly different preferences.

Joan Bathon, M.D.

About Joan Bathon, M.D.

Dr. Bathon was a Co-Deputy Director of the Division of Rheumatology at Hopkins Bayview. She was also the founder and director of the Hopkins Arthritis Center.