Extended Duration Enoxaparin Decreases the Rate of Venous Thromboembolic Events after Radical Cystectomy Compared to Inpatient Only Subcutaneous Heparin

J Urol. 2017 Feb;197(2):302-307. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2016.08.090. Epub 2016 Aug 26.


Purpose: Venous thromboembolic events are a significant source of morbidity after radical cystectomy. At our institution subcutaneous heparin was historically given to patients undergoing radical cystectomy immediately before incision and throughout the inpatient stay. In an effort to decrease the overall rate of venous thromboembolism and post-discharge venous thromboembolism, a regimen including extended duration enoxaparin was initiated for patients undergoing radical cystectomy.

Materials and methods: In January 2013 thromboprophylaxis was modified for patients undergoing radical cystectomy by replacing a regimen of subcutaneous heparin before induction and then every 8 hours until discharge home with enoxaparin daily for postoperative prophylaxis continued until 28 days after discharge. Data from our institutional radical cystectomy database for patients undergoing surgery from January 2011 to May 2014 were reviewed. The primary outcome was clinically symptomatic postoperative venous thromboembolism. Secondary outcomes included timing of venous thromboembolism and blood transfusions. Multivariate logistic regression was used to control for differences between cohorts.

Results: Of the 402 patients 234 underwent radical cystectomy before the change and 168 after. The enoxaparin regimen decreased the rate of venous thromboembolism (12% vs 5%, p=0.024) with the main benefit on post-discharge venous thromboembolism (6% vs 2%, p=0.039). Overall 17 of 37 (46%) venous thromboembolisms occurred after discharge home. Multivariate analysis confirmed that the enoxaparin regimen was independently associated with reduced odds of venous thromboembolism (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.14-0.76, p=0.009). Intraoperative and postoperative transfusion rates were similar between cohorts.

Conclusions: Thromboprophylaxis with extended duration enoxaparin decreased the rate of venous thromboembolism after radical cystectomy compared to inpatient only subcutaneous heparin with no increased risk of bleeding.

Keywords: cystectomy; heparin; postoperative complications; pulmonary embolism; venous thrombosis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Cystectomy / adverse effects*
  • Enoxaparin / administration & dosage*
  • Enoxaparin / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Heparin / administration & dosage*
  • Heparin / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venous Thromboembolism / epidemiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism / prevention & control*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Enoxaparin
  • Heparin