For plastic surgery patients at high risk, treatment with the anticoagulant (blood-thinning) drug enoxaparin can reduce the risk of serious blood clot-related complications called venous thromboembolism (VTE), reports a study in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
The results suggest that enoxaparin could help to meet one of the most important safety goals in plastic surgery today: preventing serious VTEs in high-risk patients. Funded by The Plastic Surgery Foundation, the study was performed by a consortium of US-based plastic surgeons. The lead author was Christopher J. Pannucci, MD of University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Venous thromboembolism is a potentially serious complication in which clots develop, blocking blood flow to the legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism). In addition to the immediate risk of death, VTE can lead to long-term complications and health problems.
The Venous Thromboembolism Prevention Study (VTEPS) included 3,334 patients undergoing plastic and reconstructive surgery at four U.S. hospitals.