A recent study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a medical journal by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, outlined a study indicating that there was no strong evidence suggesting that continuing antidepressants before cosmetic surgery would increase a patient’s risk intraoperatively or postoperatively. The study was conducted by Dr. Isabel Teo of Ninewells Hospital in Dundee along with Christopher Tam Song, a medical student at University of Edinburgh.
According to Science Daily which used Wolters Kluwer Health as its source, “Antidepressant use has increased in recent years, with one study reporting that 1 out of 10 U.S. adults and adolescents use these medications. Rates of antidepressant use may be even higher among patients undergoing cosmetic plastic surgery, or patients with breast cancer undergoing breast reconstruction.” It continued, “While plastic surgeons are alert for use of medications that might increase complications, such as blood thinners, they are typically not concerned about antidepressants.”
Antidepressants help adjust certain brain chemicals which alleviate a person’s mood disorder or specific behavior(s). This prescription drug can help with an array of conditions such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, ADHD, and more.
Additionally, antidepressants have been known to treat symptoms such as hot flashes, fibromyalgia, premenstrual symptoms, and neuropathy.
Antidepressants have benefited many individuals in a variety of ways, so a study such as this one is incredibly useful to both doctors and their patients.
The research article went on to say that Dr. Teo and Song crafted a comprehensive study which included various statistics and data regarding the relationship between cosmetic surgery risks and antidepressants. A total of 26 studies were part of the research. Different levels of study included:
- Risk of breast cancer
- Breast cancer outcome
- Enlargement of the breasts
The study focused particularly on antidepressants categorized as SSRI, also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
In reference to bleeding, Dr. Teo and Song assessed two groups of patients: over 34,000 breast reconstruction patients following breast cancer surgery and more than 2,500 cosmetic surgery patients. The results for bleeding were deemed inconsistent.
The report also indicated, “So while the evidence doesn’t rule out an increase in bleeding risk, stopping antidepressants before surgery–especially the widely used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)–might worsen depression symptoms…” They added, “Therefore, routine discontinuation of antidepressants before surgery in the absence of a careful evaluation should be avoided.”
In the breast cancer risk category, the results were again determined as conflicting for antidepressant users. While there was some moderate increase, others indicated no correlation.
For breast cancer outcomes, the study gleaned information about those taking tamoxifen to help reduce the recurrence of breast cancer. Researchers found no indication that antidepressants triggered a “drug combination” reaction.
Enlargement of the breasts was another area of the study. Any correlation of increased size was attributed to weight gain, a side effect of SSRI.
The report findings also cited, “While acknowledging the limitations of the available data, Dr. Teo and Mr. Song note their review finds no consistent evidence of increased complications related to antidepressants.” It added, “The risks of stopping prescribed antidepressant therapy in ‘psychologically vulnerable’ patients likely outweigh any increase in complications.