Major surgery 'safe' for patients on biologics

Higher-dose corticosteroids, however, are associated with an increased risk of postoperative infection, researchers say

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis on biologics or other modern therapies who need major surgery may not be at any higher risk than those on methotrexate, a US study shows.

Surgeons operating

But being on moderate or high doses of corticosteroids puts people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) needing surgery at higher risk of postoperative mortality or acute hospital readmission, the researchers say.

The results suggest that there may be no need to stop biologic therapy before major surgery, but that reducing corticosteroids preoperatively is important,