Background and objectives: We aimed to determine the risk of complications during cutaneous surgery for the perioperative discontinuation in comparison to the continuation of antithrombotic agents and the bridging of vitamin K antagonists with heparin in comparison to their continuation.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review, searching three databases for eligible studies. Methods followed the Cochrane Handbook. We used RoB 2 and ROBINS-I to assess risk of bias. The quality of evidence was judged (GRADE). Fixed-effect meta-analyses were performed.
Results: Two randomized-controlled trials and 19 prospective cohort studies were included. It is uncertain whether, compared to its discontinuation, continuing acetylsalicylic acid (risk difference (RD) 0.004, 95 % confidence interval (CI) -0.003 to 0.019) perioperatively increases the risk of significant postoperative bleedings (SPB). Compared to its discontinuation, continuing phenprocoumon perioperatively may increase the risk of SPB (RD 0.02, 95 % CI 0.00 to 0.05). Bridging phenprocoumon with heparin perioperatively may increase the risk of SPB when compared to its continuation (RD 0.07, 95 % CI 0.01 to 0.22). No evidence was found regarding bleeding risks for direct oral anticoagulants.
Conclusions: No clear indications of major risks of bleedings when continuing antithrombotic agents during minor skin surgeries were identified. However, the quality of evidence was very low.