It is very important to control your blood pressure before, during and after surgery. My patients and surgeons rarely ask me about blood pressure during surgery. However, high blood pressure is one of the most common reasons patients experience surgical complications. Blood pressure can go high during any procedure, but it can go even higher with previously uncontrolled blood pressure. High blood pressure during a surgery can cause a heart attack, a stroke, worsening organ dysfunction, such as kidney or heart failure, as well as other conditions. If you have controlled blood pressure, your doctor will likely continue at the same medications you’re on. You should confirm with your doctor that she or he wishes to continue these medications, as some blood pressure medications are better to change before any surgery.
Prior to surgery, your doctor will likely tell you not to eat or drink anything. You should confirm with your doctor that it’s okay to take your blood pressure medication with a small amount of water if needed. If you have uncontrolled blood pressure, it is very important to talk to your doctor to adjust your medications to get your blood pressure under control. Controlling your blood pressure before surgery will make sure you reduce your risk of a complication. Even if you do not have high blood pressure prior to surgery, you may be at risk of getting high blood pressure with the procedure. If you get high blood pressure during surgery, the doctor caring for you in the hospital should be managing your blood pressure closely until your blood pressure comes under better control. If any changes are made to your blood pressure medications for surgery, your usual medical regimen can return to normal a few days after surgery. Since high blood pressure can continue after surgery, you should follow up with your primary care doctor to check your blood pressure. This will make sure that you control your blood pressure over the long-term to prevent complications in the future.