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Warfarin dosing after bariatric surgery: a retrospective study of 10 patients previously stable on chronic warfarin therapy



Many changes associated with bariatric surgery have the potential to affect warfarin dosing; yet current literature includes little data describing this phenomenon. Investigating this relationship may allow for determination of post-bariatric surgery warfarin dosing using stable pre-operative dosing levels. A retrospective chart review was completed for 10 patients stabilized on chronic warfarin therapy who underwent bariatric surgery. Data collection consisted of the following: warfarin requirement in mg/week, time in target range (TTR), creatinine, liver function, diarrhoea, medication changes, diet, and signs of bleeding and/or thrombosis. Three study patients underwent laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding procedures and seven patients underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The average (standard deviation) weekly warfarin dose required in the immediate post-operative interval was 64% (25%) of baseline dosing, corresponding to a TTR of 48%. At 6 months, patients required 85% (19%) of baseline weekly dosing, with TTR of 53.4%. At 1 year, dosing was 90% (16%) of baseline with TTR of 63.5%. Patients underwent medication changes as well as transient bouts of diarrhoea. Two patients suffered unspecified haemorrhages of the gastrointestinal tract (international normalized ratio [INR] = 2.3 and 9.8). This patient set demonstrated an initial drop in warfarin requirement, followed by escalating dosing trends that became more predictable as patients were farther out from procedure.