Obesity Surgery

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 19-24

First online:

A Comparison of Two Different Prophylactic Dose Regimens of Low Molecular Weight Heparin in Bariatric Surgery

  • Donald J ScholtenAffiliated with
  • , Rebecca M HoedemaAffiliated with
  • , Sarah E ScholtenAffiliated with

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Background: Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a significant risk in patients undergoing surgery for morbid obesity and may be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. In a consecutive group of patients in one bariatric surgery practice, the initial group of patients who received prophylaxis for DVT was given enoxaparin 30 mg q12h while the later group was given enoxaparin 40 mg q12h. Methods: 481 patients who underwent primary and revisional bariatric surgery over 38 months (October 1997 - December 2000) were evaluated. All patients received a multi-modality DVT prophylaxis protocol that included: early ambulation, graduated compression stockings, intermittent pneumatic compression, and enoxaparin (LMWH) in two dosage groups. The first 92 patients (19%) in the series (Group I) received LMWH 30 mg q12h while the subsequent 389 patients (81%) (Group II) received LMWH 40 mg q12h. Results: Group I patients were not different from Group II patients in body mass index (BMI) (51.7 vs 50.3 kg/m2), age (43.7 vs 44.3 yrs), sex (men 20.2% vs 15.8%) or history of previous DVT (3.2% vs 3.9%). Group I patients did have significantly longer procedure times (213 vs 175 min, p<0.05) and hospital stays (5.67 d vs 3.81 d, p<0.05) than Group II. There were a total of 7 (1.4%) postoperative DVT complications. 5 DVT complications occurred in Group I (5.4%) compared with 2 DVT complications in Group II (0.6%) (p < 0.01 by Fisher Exact Test two-tailed). One patient in each group required treatment for hemorrhage. Conclusion: A multi-modality prophylaxis treatment protocol in patients undergoing bariatric surgery is feasible and achieves a low incidence of postoperative DVT complications. The use of a higher dose of enoxaparin, 40 mg q12h, may reduce the incidence of DVT complications in patients following bariatric surgery without an increase in bleeding complications.