ANTICOAGULATION WITH WARFARIN IN VITREORETINAL SURGERY


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Abstract

Purpose:To describe the clinical course of patients undergoing vitreoretinal procedures while receiving systemic anticoagulation with warfarin.Methods:We reviewed patient demographics, ocular findings, and clinical courses for 25 patients receiving systemic anticoagulation with warfarin who subsequently underwent vitreoretinal surgery.Results:Patient ages ranged from 49 years to 81 years (median, 69 years). Indications for anticoagulation included atrial fibrillation, cerebrovascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, prosthetic heart valves, and hypercoagulable state. Follow-up ranged from 4 months to 36 months (median, 19.5 months). The international normalized ratio ranged from 1.5 to 3.1 (median, 2.0). Final vision after surgery ranged from 20/20 to 20/400 (median, 20/100). One patient who underwent scleral buckling and external drainage of subretinal fluid had an intraoperative subretinal hemorrhage associated with the drainage procedure. In all other patients, no intraoperative complications occurred.Conclusion:Cessation of therapy with warfarin may not be necessary in patients receiving anticoagulation who are undergoing vitreoretinal procedures. Successful visual and anatomical results may be achieved after vitreoretinal surgery for patients receiving anticoagulation with warfarin. The management of anticoagulation should occur in conjunction with the patient’s internist to allow a clear understanding of the potential systemic risks of cessation of warfarin treatment preoperatively.

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