Presbyterian Medical Center

Beta blocker during perioperative period

Many people who have heart problems, or are at risk for heart problems, use a beta blocker drug to reduce the risk of future heart problems. It is often standard procedure to stop a patient's usual medications prior to and after their surgery.

Why this is important:

If a patient who has been taking a beta blocker suddenly stops taking it, s/he can have heart problems such as an accelerated heart beat. For these patients, continuing their beta blocker before and after surgery reduces the likelihood that they will have heart problems.

The chart above indicates the percentage of surgery patients, already taking a beta blocker before arriving at the hospital, were administered a beta blocker during the time just before, and after, their surgery.