Tranexamic acid in plastic surgery: routes of administration and dosage considerations

Abstract

Background

Excessive blood loss, during or after surgery, remains a major surgical concern despite the continuous improvement of surgical standards. Tranexamic acid (TXA), an anti-fibrinolytic, is a potential agent that has been used in a variety of methods to mitigate blood loss. In addition, TXA shows additional anti-inflammatory effects which may be of particular interest. The objective of this study is to review clinical studies involving the use of TXA in plastic surgery related procedures.

Methods

We carried out a literature search of Google Scholar, PubMed, Ovid Medline, and Cochrane databases since their inception for relevant clinical studies on TXA use (dosages/routes of administration) in plastic surgery–related procedures.

Results

Forty-five articles were included in this review. These included studies assessing the use of TXA in craniofacial surgery (15 studies), aesthetic and breast-related surgeries (23 studies), burn care (4 studies), and microsurgery (3 studies). For each sub-set, study design, study sample size, surgical procedure performed, TXA route of administration, dosage, study outcomes, and adverse events were summarized and reported in a separate section.

Conclusions

TXA is widely studied in the field of craniofacial surgery, specifically craniosynostosis surgery. Intravenous administration of TXA is the most commonly studied route of administration. Topical formulations seem to be on the rise and the added local anti-inflammatory effects and safety profile of topical use add significant appeal. Moreover, evidence on appropriate dosage protocols is scarce. The variable approach in dosing warrants further trials to assess the clinical implications, as well as potential benefit in using TXA more efficiently in the field of plastic surgery, as a whole.

Level of evidence: Not ratable

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Fig. 1

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Correspondence to Khalifa AlGhanim.

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Khalifa AlGhanim, Sarah Al-Youha, Amenah AlWazzan, and Salma AlHamad declare no competing interests.

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AlGhanim, K., Al-Youha, S., AlWazzan, A. et al. Tranexamic acid in plastic surgery: routes of administration and dosage considerations. Eur J Plast Surg 44, 295–305 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00238-021-01794-5

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Keywords

  • Tranexamic acid
  • Anti-fibrinolytics
  • TXA
  • Plastic surgery
  • Craniofacial surgery
  • Burn care
  • Aesthetic surgery
  • Microsurgery