Oral Surgery & Blood Thinners: What You Need to Know
Are you taking a blood thinner? If you need oral surgery, this can be an issue. These medications interfere with the clotting process and can increase the risk of excessive bleeding after surgical procedures.
Fortunately, professional oral surgeons understand how to manage the challenges of working with patients taking blood thinners.
Preparing for Oral Surgery
For the vast majority of patients — even those on blood thinners — post-surgical bleeding is not difficult to control or stop. As long as you provide a thorough medical history, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Your oral surgeon will need to know about any medical conditions as well as all the medications you take. Some vitamins, herbal remedies and over-the-counter drugs, including Advil and Motrin, can interfere with the effects of blood thinners, so be sure to list these as well. In addition, you may need to get blood tests before the procedure to allow for monitoring of your post-surgical clotting.
Guidelines for Patients on Blood Thinners
Given how blood thinners can complicate oral and maxillofacial procedures, many patients assume they should stop taking it before surgery, but this usually isn’t the case.
Uncontrollable bleeding is incredibly uncommon, even among patients on these medications. What’s more, oral surgeons can use pressure, socket packing, stitches and a range of other techniques to ensure proper clotting after surgical treatment.
On rare occasions, high-risk patients may be advised to change or discontinue blood thinners. However, before making that recommendation, oral surgeons discuss the matter with the patient’s physician.
Recovering from Oral Surgery
For any patient — not only those on blood thinners — simple self-care practices can help minimize post-surgical bleeding. These include applying firm pressure on the surgery site, avoiding hard and sharp foods, steering clear of hot beverages and straws, and refraining from spitting and smoking during recovery.
When patients follow the oral surgeons’ detailed aftercare instructions to the letter, complications seldom occur. However, if patients develop any concerns about their recovery, advice is a phone call away.
If you need oral surgery and you’re on any type of blood thinner — whether that’s aspirin, another antiplatelet drug or an anticoagulant, such as warfarin or heparin — you need have an experienced professional oral surgeon perform the procedure. For expert care in the greater Salt Lake City area, rely on the highly skilled team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.
As a leading northern Utah oral surgery practice with over 10 years of experience, the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah team is well-accustomed to working with high-risk patients. In our hands, you can rest easy in knowing that we will take every possible precaution to prevent complications and provide a smooth, problem-free recovery.
If you’re on a blood thinner and you need surgical treatment, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office and schedule an oral surgery consultation today.
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