Recent small studies have raised concerns that use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients undergoing surgery may be associated with anastomotic leak at the surgical junction. Now, a retrospective analysis of more than 13,000 patients undergoing bariatric or colorectal surgery has confirmed this link.
The rate of anastomotic leaks at 90 days was significantly higher in patients who took NSAIDs post-operatively than in those who did not, with a multivariate-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.24 (95% confidence interval 1.01–1.56). The risk was greatest in the subset of patients undergoing non-elective colorectal resection, with an OR of 1.70 (95% CI 1.11–2.68).
“These data may be enough for some surgeons to alter practice patterns,” the study authors conclude in JAMA Surgery (online, 21 January 2015)
 Hakkarainen TW, Steele SR, Bastaworous A et al. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk for anastomotic failure: a report From Washington State’s surgical care and outcomes assessment program (SCOAP). JAMA Surgery 2015. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.2239.