Venous thromboembolism (VTE) and surgical site infection are common and potentially preventable postoperative complications. National patient safety and healthcare quality initiatives target perioperative VTE and infection as opportunities to improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs. Women undergoing gynecologic surgery and cesarean delivery are at risk for these complications. There is sufficient evidence to recommend that VTE and antibiotic prophylaxis be given to women undergoing certain major gynecologic surgery or cesarean delivery. Because there are always emerging issues as new studies become available, physicians should anticipate periodic changes to the guidelines. Adherence to the available practice guidelines and awareness of relevant performance measures will further efforts to reduce postoperative complications.