Enoxaparin for thromboprophylaxis in morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery: findings of the prophylaxis against VTE outcomes in bariatric surgery patients receiving enoxaparin (PROBE) study

Giselle G Hamad, Patricia Smith Choban
Obesity Surgery 2005, 15 (10): 1368-74

BACKGROUND: Obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery are at significant risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE). We performed a multicenter, retrospective survey to evaluate the safety and efficacy of enoxaparin for thromboprophylaxis in patients with morbid obesity undergoing primary bariatric surgery.

METHODS: From January to December 2002, 668 patients who underwent primary bariatric surgery at 5 centers were analyzed retrospectively. Baseline patient demographics, objectively diagnosed cases of VTE, and bleeding events were recorded. Patients received enoxaparin preoperatively (30 mg) or postoperatively (40 mg) every 12 or 24 hours or upon discharge (30 mg every 24 hours for 10 days).

RESULTS: Overall, there were 6 (0.9%) pulmonary embolisms (PE) and 1 (0.1%) occurrence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT); all but 1 occurred after the cessation of thromboprophylaxis. The highest incidence of VTE was at Center B, which did not administer perioperative thromboprophylaxis (1 DVT and 2 PEs). There were 6 (0.9%) severe bleeding complications: 3 at center D and 3 at center E. In Center B, 2 deaths were recorded (0.3%): 1 due to sepsis and 1 due to bleeding, with both occurring after thromboprophylaxis was discontinued.

CONCLUSION: The administration of enoxaparin, in various dosing regimens, is safe for thromboprophylaxis in morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery. Fewer events occurred with perioperative prophylaxis initiated in the hospital. Because all thromboembolic events occurred after the cessation of thromboprophylaxis, extended thromboprophylaxis may be of value.

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