Heart patients are usually told to stop taking aspirin, which has a blood-thinning effect, seven to 10 days before bypass surgery to reduce risk for excess bleeding.
New finding: Patients who continued aspirin therapy up to the time of surgery had less lung damage from the heart-lung machine (which performs the functions of the heart during surgery). Patients also were able to come off the machine six hours sooner.
Theory: Aspirin decreases thromboxane (a substance that constricts blood vessels and is released abundantly during heart surgery). If you are scheduled for bypass surgery using a heart-lung machine, ask your doctor about continuing aspirin therapy.
Important: Discontinuing aspirin therapy before eye surgery and many other surgeries is still recommended.
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