A surgical operation, particularly orthopedic surgery, oncological surgery, or surgery requiring a long immobilization time, is the greatest risk factor for VTD. Without preventive treatment, up to 60% of patients undergoing orthopedic surgery would develop Deep Vein Trombosis. Therefore, when surgery is performed, a LMWH is often administered to minimize the risk of VTD. It is very important that preventive treatment is continued during the time period indicated by the physician after leaving the hospital.
Effective Deep Vein Trombosis prevention is very important when there are risk factors recommending it. This is because in addition to the immediate serious implications and the potential long-term complications of VTD, it should be taken into account that suffering a Deep Vein Trombosis or PE episode multiplies the risk of occurrence of new episodes (recurrence).
In patients with a high or moderate risk of VTD, the doctor usually prescribes drugs for preventive purposes, together with general physical measures. The current drug treatment of choice is administration by the subcutaneous route of a low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), because such drugs have been shown to be highly effective for prevention of complications derived from VTD in patients with high and moderate risk. The introduction of a second generation of LMWHs has represented a significant advance in the clinical advantages of this drug class.
In patients with a low risk of VTD, only physical measures aimed at enhancing venous return circulation, such as early mobilization, elastic stockings, or pneumatic compression are usually recommended.