Table of Contents
Volume 2011, Article ID 828030, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Venous Thromboembolism Following Colorectal Surgery for Suspected or Confirmed Malignancy

Department of Surgery, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia

Received 5 November 2010; Accepted 19 April 2011

Academic Editor: Thomas Kickler

Copyright © 2011 Brenton Sanderson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Surgery for colorectal cancer conveys a high risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). The effect of thromboprophylactic regimens of varying duration on the incidence of VTE was assessed in 417 patients undergoing surgery between 2005 and 2009 for colorectal cancer. Low-dose unfractionated heparin (LDUH) was used in 52.7% of patients, low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in 35.3%, and 10.7% received LDUH followed by LMWH. Pharmacological prophylaxis was continued after hospitalisation in 31.6%. Major bleeding occurred in 4% of patients. The 30-day mortality rate was 1.9%. The incidence of symptomatic VTE from hospital admission for surgery to 12 months after was 2.4%. There were no in-hospital VTE events. The majority of events occurred in the three-month period after discharge, but there were VTE events up to 12 months, especially in patients with more advanced cancer and multiple comorbidities.