None of the predictive models for venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis have been designed for and validated in patients undergoing cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. The presence of one or more risk factors [age over 70 years old, transfusion of more than 4 U of red blood cells/fresh frozen plasma/cryoprecipitate, mechanical ventilation lasting more than 24 h, postoperative complication (e.g. acute kidney injury, infection/sepsis, neurological complication)] should place the cardiac population at high risk for VTE. In this context, we suggest the use of pharmacological prophylaxis as soon as satisfactory haemostasis has been achieved, in addition to intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) (Grade 2C). In patients undergoing abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, particularly when an open surgical approach is used, the risk for VTE is high and the bleeding risk is high. In this context, we suggest the use of pharmacological prophylaxis as soon as satisfactory haemostasis is achieved (Grade 2C). Patients undergoing thoracic surgery in the absence of cancer could be considered at low risk for VTE. Patients undergoing thoracic surgery with a diagnosis of primary or metastatic cancer should be considered at high risk for VTE. In low-risk patients, we suggest the use of mechanical prophylaxis using IPC (Grade 2C). In high-risk patients, we suggest the use of pharmacological prophylaxis in addition to IPC (Grade 2B).