Once you’ve had cardiac surgery, your doctor may suggest that you take a blood thinner. Blood thinners help blood flow by preventing blood cells from clumping together and clogging up your arteries. There are two main types of blood thinners that you may take: anticoagulants and antiplatelets.
Anticoagulants, such as Warfarin (also known as coumadin), Eliquis, Xarelto, and Pradaxa. stop blood clots from forming. They are used to treat patients with blood clots, heart valve problems, and people who have irregular heartbeats.
Antiplatelets, such as aspirin, clopidogrel or Plavix, and ticagrelor or Brilinta, will keep your blood cells from clumping together. This will open up your arteries and make blood flow better
While on blood thinners, call your doctor if you have any issues with bleeding or you have a fall or unusual bruising.
Blood thinners can be a very important part of your recovery and a healthy lifestyle after cardiac surgery. If you have any questions about blood thinners or how they might affect you, please talk to your care team.