Surgery may present some particular challenges in people who have lupus, so proper preparation is important. Although we may not be able to adequately prepare for emergency surgeries, there are many things that can be done for elective surgeries to increase the possibility of a safe outcome.
Keep all your doctors in the loop. It is very important that the surgeon and the rheumatologist communicate with each other prior to the surgery. If this does not happen, it is recommended that patients initiate this communication by asking the surgeon to contact the rheumatologist, and vice versa.
This is important as surgery may induce a lupus flare or may cause complications if surgery is performed while having a flare. Therefore, it is important to know the status of your lupus before having a procedure. In addition, some medications need to be stopped, increased or decreased prior to surgery. For instance, blood thinners will need to be stopped prior to surgery and restarted later on. Your rheumatologist and other doctors can provide specific recommendations.
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