Harvard Heart Letter

Ask the doctor: Can I have my hernia fixed while taking Plavix?

Ask the doctor

Can I have my hernia fixed while taking Plavix?

Q. In October 2007, I had three Cypher stents placed in my left anterior descending artery. My doctor told me to take Plavix and aspirin indefinitely. Now I need to have a hernia repaired. My surgeon refuses to operate while I'm taking Plavix and aspirin, and said I would have to stop taking the two drugs five to six days before the operation. My cardiologist says that stopping the Plavix and aspirin, as well as the stress of the operation itself, would throw me into a "hypercoagulable state," greatly increasing my chance of developing a blood clot inside one of the stents. What should I do?

A. This is a challenging question, because you are faced with two choices that are associated with risks of low probability.

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