oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Deep vein thrombosis after surgery : review

Volume 78, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a significant, potentially fatal complication following surgery. Certain orthopaedic procedures, such as hip or knee arthroplasty, present a greater risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) than others. These surgical risks are further compounded by individual patient risk factors. In the event of a DVT, treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) should be initiated on diagnosis, followed by initiation of oral anticoagulant therapy. Once the LMWH is discontinued, anticoagulation with warfarin should be continued for a period of time, to be determined by assessing the individual's risk of VTE recurrence.

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