Recent use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), or anti-clotting drugs such as clopidogreal (Plavix) does not appear to increase the risk of bleeding during or after removal of precancerous lesions in the digestive tract, according to results of a Mayo Clinic study. The findings, culled from a review of 1,382 procedures of patients treated at Mayo Clinic in Florida, are being presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Washington, D.C.

“Patients who have recently used these medications worry a lot about bleeding when lesions are removed from their esophagus, stomach, or colon. This study shows that such concerns may not be warranted,” says the lead author Bashar Qumseya, M.D.

“In the past, we told patients to discontinue these agents, if possible, in order to prevent bleeding. But now we know that this may not be necessary,” says Dr. Qumseya, a second year gastroenterology fellow at Mayo Clinic Florida.

“There has been a lot of discussion in the medical community about what to do with people on these medications, and we are pleased to find this early study suggests there may not be the risk of bleeding we once thought would occur,” says senior author Timothy Woodward, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

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