INTRODUCTION Current guidelines on venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention do not reflect the potential varying risk for patients undergoing different urological procedures. Our study aimed to establish the procedure specific rate of postoperative VTE in patients undergoing urological surgery.
METHODS Hospital Episode Statistics were obtained for all patients undergoing common urological procedures between April 2009 and April 2010. This cohort was followed up to identify all patients reattending with either deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) within 12 months.
RESULTS A total of 126,891 individuals underwent urological surgery during the study period. This included 89,628 men (70.6%) and 37,236 women (29.3%) with a mean age of 65.2 years. At the 12-month follow-up, 839 patients (0.66%) were readmitted with VTE. Of these, 373 (0.29%) were admitted with DVT and 466 (0.37%) with PE. The procedure-specific rate of VTE varied significantly between 2.86% following cystectomy and 0.23% following urethral dilatation. Procedures per- formed in the lithotomy position carried a significantly lower risk of VTE than those performed in the supine position (0.60% vs 1.28%, p<0.0001). Furthermore, of all procedures performed in the lithotomy position, those performed on benign conditions carried a significantly lower risk than those performed on malignant disease (0.52% vs 0.79%, p<0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS Procedure specific rates of postoperative VTE vary widely among patients undergoing urological procedures. These findings suggest the potential benefit of prolonging the use of thromboprophylaxis in high-risk patients but also exploring the apparent lack of need for routine thromboprophylaxis in patients undergoing low-risk procedures.