Heart and stroke patients should not stop daily aspirin therapy prior to surgery unless directed by a physician.

Reasons: Patients who stop taking aspirin have triple the risk of suffering a stroke within a month. Studies also suggest that when patients stop taking aspirin, blood becomes even stickier for a few weeks than it would have been if they had never taken aspirin in the first place. These findings raise doubts about the practice of halting aspirin therapy for the weeks prior to surgery.

Self-defense: Talk to your doctor about the risks of discontinuing aspirin therapy before surgery.

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