Tranexamic Acid in Aesthetic Facial Plastic Surgery: A Systematic Review of Evidence, Applications, and Outcomes
Aesthetic surgery journal. Open forum. 2020;2(3):ojaa029
BACKGROUND Tranexamic acid (TXA) is an antifibrinolytic that has become widely used in aesthetic facial plastic surgery, although its efficacy has not been well investigated. OBJECTIVES To evaluate the existing evidence for use of TXA in aesthetic facial plastic surgery, highlighting routes of administration, dosing, surgical applications, and clinical outcomes. METHODS Systematic review of primary literature evaluating TXA in aesthetic facial plastic surgery. RESULTS Eleven studies met inclusion criteria: 8 prospective randomized controlled trials, 2 retrospective case series/cohort studies, and 1 clinical opinion. Six studies evaluated TXA in rhinoplasty, 4 in rhytidectomy, and 1 in blepharoplasty. Significant reductions in intraoperative blood loss were found in 5 rhinoplasty studies. Three rhinoplasty and 2 rhytidectomy studies found significantly reduced postoperative edema and ecchymosis. One rhinoplasty and 1 rhytidectomy study reported reduced operative time and time to achieve hemostasis. One rhytidectomy study reported reduced postoperative drain output and faster time to drain removal. No studies reported an adverse outcome directly related to TXA. CONCLUSIONS Existing literature investigating TXA in aesthetic facial plastic surgery is sparse with varying levels of evidence and heterogeneous data. Literature suggests systemic TXA reduces intraoperative blood loss during rhinoplasty, although the clinical significance of this blood loss reduction is unclear. TXA may also reduce postoperative edema and/or ecchymosis in rhytidectomy and rhinoplasty, although the lack of validated grading scales yields insufficient evidence to support this claim. Topical and subcutaneously injected TXA are emerging administration routes in rhytidectomy, with evidence suggesting TXA mixed with tumescent may reduce postoperative drain output, thereby expediting drain removal.