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Expert Review


VTE Prophylaxis Following Gynecologic Surgery

Danielle Vicus, MD, MSc
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Toronto
Affiliate Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Gynecologic Oncologist, Odette Cancer Center, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center
Toronto, Ontario

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common and potentially fatal complication of gynecologic surgery. The risk is particularly high in those surgeries performed for cancer. In this group, postoperative mortality is more than twice as great in those who develop VTE than those who do not.1 In addition, the non-fatal complications of VTE include a post-thrombotic syndrome of chronic swelling and pain.2 Dual mechanical (graduated compression stockings or sequential compression devices) and extended pharmacologic prophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is recommended for all patients undergoing open gynecologic oncology surgery.

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