A simple venous thromboembolism prophylaxis protocol for patients undergoing bariatric surgery

Eldo E Frezza, Mitchell S Wachtel
Obesity 2006, 14 (11): 1961-5

OBJECTIVE: Pulmonary embolism is a leading cause of death for bariatric patients. Numerous regimens have been proposed, but a comprehensive, simple approach is lacking. This study provides a simple, easily implemented prophylaxis regimen.

RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: One hundred fifty bariatric surgery patients were evaluated. Patients considered at high risk for venous thromboembolism had heart failure, a BMI of >/=50 kg/m(2), or a history of venous thromboembolism or pelvic surgery. Preoperatively and postoperatively, all patients received subcutaneous enoxaparin or unfractionated heparin. High-risk patients received either preoperatively inserted inferior vena cava filters or continuous heparin infusions intraoperatively. All high-risk patients were anticoagulated with warfarin (Coumadin; Bristol Myers-Squibb, Princeton, NJ) for at least 3 months postoperatively. Initially, some patients experienced significant hemorrhage; to prevent this, sutures were oversewn into staple lines.

RESULTS: No patient experienced venous thromboembolism; a binomial test showed that the regimen reduced the risk of this complication to less than 2% (p < 0.05). Hemorrhage sufficient to require transfusion occurred in 4 of the first 20 patients; of the remaining 130 patients, into whose staple lines sutures were oversewn, none required transfusion (p < 0.05).

DISCUSSION: Patients should be divided into those who are at high risk and those who are at low risk for venous thromboembolism. All patients should receive pre- and postoperative anticoagulation. High-risk patients should also receive either an inferior vena cava filter or intraoperative heparin infusions, as well as at least 3 months of Coumadin therapy. Oversewing of staple lines may reduce the risk of hemorrhage.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"