Background: As the prevalence of hypertension continues to increase, physicians routinely encounter patients preoperatively receiving one or more cardiovascular medications to manage hypertension. Thus, the physician’s knowledge of perioperative antihypertensive medication management is crucial to ensure patient safety.
Objective: We discuss the decisions to continue or stop antihypertensive medications to reduce the risk of perioperative complications.
Method: We conducted a review of the original research studies, review articles, and editorials present on PubMed within the past 60 years. The authors included peer-reviewed articles that they deemed relevant to current practice. Search terms of perioperative surgical home, preoperative medication instruction, surgery, and perioperative management were used in combination with the key words α-agonist, antihypertensive, β-blocker, calcium-channel blocker, diuretic, hypertension, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor, and vasodilator. The reference lists of each selected article were also reviewed for additional sources of information.
Results: The number of articles about perioperative management of antihypertension medications increased in more recent years. Evidence showed clear support of the continuation or withholding of most medications. However, no clear recommendation was found on the continuation of reninangiotensin- aldosterone system inhibitors in the perioperative period.
Conclusion: Current evidence supports the perioperative continuation of β-blockers, calciumchannel blockers, and α-2 agonists. However, diuretics should be discontinued on the day of the surgery and resumed in the postoperative period. Debates persist about the continuation of reninangiotensin- aldosterone system inhibitors.
Keywords: Antihypertensive medication, hypertension, perioperative medication management, perioperative surgical home, preoperative evaluation, preoperative medication instruction, surgery.