Perioperative management of direct oral anticoagulants in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy: results of a prospective assessment


Introduction and objectives

In the perioperative setting, temporary interruption of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) is recommended. However, the safety of these recommendations is based on non-urological surgical experiences. Our objective was to verify the safety of these recommendations in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP).

Materials and methods

Patients regularly receiving a DOAC and scheduled for RP at our institution were prospectively assessed. DOAC intake was usually stopped 48 h before surgery without any preoperative bridging therapy. Postoperatively, patients received risk-adapted low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH). On the third day after unremarkable RP, DOAC intake was restarted and the administration of LMWH was stopped. We assessed perioperative outcomes and 30-day morbidity.


Thirty-two consecutive patients receiving DOAC underwent RP at our institution between 12/2017 and 07/2018. Time of surgery (median, 177 min) and intraoperative blood loss (median, 500 mL) were unremarkable. DOACs were restarted on the third postoperative day in 30 patients (94%). No patient had a significant hemoglobin level reduction after DOAC restart. Overall, 28% of patients experienced complications within 30 days after surgery. Most of which were minor (Clavien ≤ 2), three patients (9%), however, had Clavien ≥ 3 complications.


Our report is the first to prospectively assess current guideline recommendations regarding DOAC restarting after major urological surgery. RP can safely be performed, if DOACs are correctly paused before surgery. Moreover, in case of an uneventful postoperative clinical course, DOACs can be safely restarted on the third postoperative day. A 9% Clavien ≥ 3 30-day morbidity warrants attention and should be further explored in future studies.

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Hendrik Isbarn has received lecture fees from Daiichi Sankyo. Florian Langer has received lecture fees, honoraria for advisory boards, travel and/or research support from Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Myers Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo, Pfizer and Sanofi.

Author information




AB project development, data collection, manuscript writing. JS project development, data collection, manuscript writing. FL project development, data collection, manuscript writing. HH data collection, manuscript writing. LB data collection, manuscript writing. DT data collection, manuscript writing. UM data collection, manuscript writing. AS data collection, manuscript writing. TS data collection, manuscript writing. VV data collection, manuscript writing. GS data collection, manuscript writing. AH data collection, manuscript writing. HH data collection, manuscript writing. MG data collection, manuscript writing. HI project development, data collection, manuscript writing, data analysis

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hendrik Isbarn.

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Beckmann, A., Spalteholz, J., Langer, F. et al. Perioperative management of direct oral anticoagulants in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy: results of a prospective assessment. World J Urol 37, 2657–2662 (2019).

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  • Radical prostatectomy
  • DOAC
  • Prostate cancer