Current guidelines recommend individual risk stratification, chemoprophylaxis, and risk mitigation to prevent venous thromboembolism. However, the evidence for efficacy is lacking in plastic surgery outpatients. Anticoagulation can cause bleeding. Ultrasound technology offers a highly accurate screening method.
A prospective study was undertaken among 1000 consecutive cosmetic surgery outpatients who were scanned at three times: before surgery, the day after surgery, and 1 week after surgery (inclusion rate, 93 percent). Intravenous sedation was used, with no muscle relaxation. Compression, Doppler color flow, and waveform analysis were performed on the deep veins of the lower extremities, including the calves. Affected patients were followed with weekly scans. No chemoprophylaxis was ordered. Sequential compression devices were used during the first half of the study.
Nine deep venous thromboses were detected (0.9 percent). Two thromboses were found on scans performed the day after surgery. Six thromboses were detected on the scan approximately 1 week after surgery. One deep venous thrombosis was detected 35 days after surgery. Eight of the nine patients were prescribed oral anticoagulants. All affected patients recovered fully. The mean time to thrombosis resolution was 4.8 weeks. A logistic regression found no deep venous thrombosis risk reduction from sequential compression devices. Patient age was significantly associated with deep venous thromboses (p
Ultrasound surveillance offers an effective method for early detection and treatment of postoperative deep venous thromboses. This technology offers an alternative to risk stratification and chemoprophylaxis, which causes iatrogenic bleeding. Sequential compression devices are unnecessary for plastic surgery outpatients undergoing total intravenous anesthesia.
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