The restriction of ibuprofen use post-plastic surgery could be changing, according to research published in the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The findings suggest that ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after surgery do not create a risk of increased bleeding, as was once thought.

Using a systematic review and meta-analysis of the research literature, researchers identified high-quality studies comparing the use of ibuprofen with other pain medications used following plastic surgery-related operations. These procedures included studies for breast cancer surgery, hernia repair, cosmetic facial surgery, and skin cancer surgery and reconstruction using an ibuprofen dose of 400 mg every 4 hours. Researchers found postoperative bleeding with ibuprofen as insignificant. Analysis also compared the efficacy of ibuprofen to acetaminophen plus codeine, a common postoperative pain medicine. Again, there was no great difference in bleeding risk or pain control.

“Bleeding is a significant concern for plastic surgeons, and NSAIDs are routinely held with this in mind,” Brian Kelley, MD, and co-authors, from the University of Michigan, write, according to a media release from Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. “OTC (over-the-counter) analgesics like ibuprofen are more cost effective given their effectiveness in pain control, well-established public tolerance and low-risk qualities for abuse.”

[Source(s): Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Newswise]