Hemorrhagic complications of oculoplastic surgery

Philip L. Custer, Kathryn M. Trinkaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the incidence and risk factors of hemorrhagic complications associated with selected oculoplastic procedures. Methods: A prospective study was performed to document the severity of intraoperative hemorrhage and postoperative bruising in patients undergoing oculoplastic procedures. The use of anticoagulant or platelet-inhibiting medications, systemic medical conditions, patient age, patient sex, and type of procedure were examined to identify risk factors for hemorrhagic complications. Results: Troublesome intraoperative bleeding prolonged surgery in 9.2% of cases. Severe bleeding with the potential to affect surgical outcome was encountered in 0.4% of procedures. There was little correlation between severity of bleeding and degree of postoperative bruising. Male sex, a history of heart disease, or age >60 years imparted a slightly greater risk of intraoperative bleeding. Age >60 years, hypertension, or recent cessation of aspirin may increase the risk of postoperative bruising. A history of previous stroke increased the risk of postoperative bleeding. There was no statistical difference in the incidence of hemorrhagic complications among patients currently treated with antiplatelet/anticoagulant agents, those who had stopped these medications before surgery, and those who were not treated with these agents. No patient had permanent sequelae related to hemorrhage. Two patients had postoperative systemic complications possibly attributable to withholding anticoagulant/antiplatelet medications in preparation for surgery. Conclusions: Although serious hemorrhagic complications may be associated with oculoplastic procedures, the incidence of these complications is low. The decision to withhold antiplatelet or anticoagulant medications before surgery should be individualized. Selected procedures can be safely performed without stopping these agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002


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