Venous Thromboembolism and Use of Prophylaxis Among Women Undergoing Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

Ritch, Jessica M. B. MD; Kim, Jin Hee MD; Lewin, Sharyn N. MD; Burke, William M. MD; Sun, Xuming MS; Herzog, Thomas J. MD; Wright, Jason D. MD

Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31821bdd16
Original Research

OBJECTIVE: To examine the risk of venous thromboembolism and the use of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in women undergoing laparoscopic hysterectomy.

METHODS: Results of women recorded in a health outcomes, resource utilization, and quality database from 2003 to 2007 who underwent laparoscopic hysterectomy were analyzed. The rate and predictors of venous thromboembolism as well as patterns of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis were examined. Multivariable logistic regression models were developed to determine the incidence of venous thromboembolism and use of any prophylaxis, as well as pharmacologic prophylaxis.

RESULTS: Among 60,013 women, a total of 579 (1.0%) venous thromboembolism events were noted. Venous thromboembolism was diagnosed in 2.1% of women aged 60 years or older and in 2.3% of those with cancer. Women older than 60 years (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.19–2.26) and with more medical comorbidities (OR 3.07, 95% CI 2.23–4.23) were most likely to have a venous thromboembolism develop. A total of 23,562 (39.3%) patients received no venous thromboembolism prophylaxis, 29,288 (48.8%) received mechanical prophylaxis, and 7,163 (11.9%) received pharmacologic prophylaxis. Women aged 60 years or older (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.41–1.73), women with more medical comorbidities (OR 1.93, 95% CI 1.71–2.17), those with cancer (OR 3.08, 95% CI 2.75–3.45), and patients treated by high-volume surgeons (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.33–1.52) were more likely to receive pharmacologic prophylaxis.

CONCLUSION: Whereas patients undergoing laparoscopic hysterectomy are overall at low risk for venous thromboembolism, older women, those with medical comorbidities, and women with cancer are at substantial risk. Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis is highly variable and often not utilized.


In Brief

The rate of venous thromboembolism after laparoscopic hysterectomy is low but increases with certain risk factors; patients at higher risk are more likely to receive prophylaxis.

Author Information

From the Divisions of Gynecologic Oncology and Gynecologic Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York; and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, New York, New York.

Corresponding author: Jason D. Wright, MD, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 161 Fort Washington Ave, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10032; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2011 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists