Intermittent pneumatic compression
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Patients who undergo laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) are operated on under general anesthesia, in a reverse Trendelenburg position, with 12–15-mmHg pneumoperitoneum. All of these factors can induce venous stasis of the legs, which may lead to postoperative deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). The objectives of this study were to assess the degree of hypercoagulability and to determine the rate of postoperative DVT in a group of 100 patients in whom LC was completed. Whole-blood thrombelastography (TEG) and plasma-activated partial thromboplastin time (PTT) determination were carried out preoperatively and on the 1st postoperative day. All patients received pre-, intra-, and postoperative graduated compression stockings and sequential pneumatic compression devices until fully ambulatory. Twenty-six percent of the patients with a risk score 〉4, or a postoperative TEG index 〉+5.0, received subcutaneous heparin (5,000 units b.i.d.), beginning in the postoperative period and continuing for 4 weeks as an outpatient. A complete venous duplex scan of both legs was performed on the 7th postoperative day, at the time of their office visit. Our results revealed significant postoperative hypercoagulability for the TEG index (P〈0.005) and for PTT (P〈0.05). One patient had an asymptomatic DVT (1%), and no side effects from the mechanical or pharmacological prophylaxis occurred in this series. These data suggest that the low incidence of thrombosis in the face of theoretical and laboratory evidence of postoperative hypercoagulability may reflect an effective prophylactic regime. Alternatively, the incidence of these thrombotic problems may be very low, or the sensitivity and timing of duplex scanning may be inadequate to identify asymptomatic venous thrombosis. Until further studies are done to resolve these issues, we feel that mechanical prophylaxis combined with selective low-dose heparin therapy is safe and effective in patients having laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
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