Canterbury DHB


Surgical VTE Prophylaxis

Surgery is a significant cause of deep vein thrombosis and post-operative death from pulmonary embolism may occur from an unrecognised DVT. The risk of venous thromboembolism depends on the type of surgery, patient characteristics and the underlying disease.

Risk Factors for DVT

Risk Prediction

By combining the above factors, surgical patients can be stratified into low, moderate or high risk groups:

Guidelines for Prophylaxis using LMWH

If heparin is contraindicated, use compression techniques.

New oral anticoagulants

Guidelines for use of LMWH if spinal/epidural anaesthesia is used

Pooled data with low dose standard or LMW heparin compared to no chemical prophylaxis show a higher rate of wound haematoma but no increase in major bleeding episodes. The use of spinal or epidural anaesthesia introduces the potential risk of spinal haematomas.

The following precautions have been recommended:

Patients should be monitored for signs of early paraplegia.

About this Canterbury DHB document (63502):

Document Owner:

Not assigned (see Who's Who)

Last Reviewed:

August 2016

Next Review:

August 2018


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Topic Code: 63502