Venous Thromboembolic Events Following Major Pelvic and Abdominal Surgeries for Cancer: A Prospective Cohort Study
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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and risk factors for post-hospital discharge venous thromboembolism (VTE) following abdominal cancer surgery without post-discharge prophylaxis. METHODS: This was a single-center, prospective cohort study. Patients were evaluated at 1, 3, and 6 months from surgery for the presence of proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT; screening ultrasound at 1 month and questionnaire at each visit). Cumulative VTE incidence with 95% confidence interval (CI) was estimated using Kaplan-Meier methods, and multivariable analysis was performed using a Cox proportional hazards model. RESULTS: Of 284 patients enrolled, 79 (28%) underwent colorectal laparotomy, 97 (34%) underwent hepatobiliary laparotomy, 100 (35%) underwent gynecological laparotomy, and 8 (3%) underwent exploratory laparotomy without resection. All patients received pre- and postoperative inpatient prophylaxis. The cumulative incidence of VTE at 1 month was 0.35% (95% CI 0.05-2.48), 2.5% at 3 months (95% CI 1.19-5.15), and 7.2% at 6 months (95% CI 4.72-10.97). Screening ultrasound performed 4 weeks after surgery in 50% of patients was negative for thrombosis in all cases. Event distribution was similar according to the type of surgery (open/laparoscopic) and type of cancer. Seventeen (6.6%) patients died (95% CI 3.5-9.4) (two had a VTE-related death). Postoperative chemotherapy and Caprini score were significantly associated with VTE [hazard ratios 3.77 (95% CI 1.56-9.12) and 1.17 (95% CI 1.02-1.34), respectively]. CONCLUSION: The incidence of post-hospital discharge proximal DVT and/or symptomatic VTE following abdominal and pelvic cancer surgery appears to be low. The cumulative number of events increased at 6 months, but this was likely due to additional risk factors that were not related to surgery. Postoperative chemotherapy increases the risk of VTE.
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