Surgical Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis: Clinical Practice Update

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Hosp Pract (1995)


METHODS: We reviewed articles on VTE prevention in surgical patients published in peer reviewed journals since the publication of 2012 ACCP guidelines on VTE prevention in surgical patients.

RESULTS: Methods of VTE prophylaxis include aggressive ambulation, mechanical prophylaxis and pharmacological prophylaxis. In non-orthopedic surgery, the overall approach remains assessment of thrombosis risk with the recommendation to use a risk assessment tool such as the modified Caprini score. Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) appears to be more effective than unfractionated heparin (UFH) for VTE prophylaxis in non-orthopedic surgery. For orthopedic surgery, recent studies now recognize aspirin as an option for VTE prophylaxis after total hip arthroplasty, total knee arthroplasty and hip fracture surgery. Extended prophylaxis with LMWH reduces the risk of symptomatic VTE in high risk abdominal and pelvic cancer surgery without an appreciable increase in risk of bleeding and decreased symptomatic VTE in major orthopedic surgery but with more minor but not major bleeding. Prophylactic Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement or surveillance compression ultrasonography is not recommended in management or detection of VTE in surgical patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This article aims to provide insight into data from last several years which has potential to change clinical practices in perioperative setting.

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ePub ahead of print