Purpose: To examine the variation in venous thromboembolism prophylactic treatment (VTEP) among renal cancer patients undergoing surgery.
Materials and methods: An Internet-based questionnaire on renal tumor management before and after surgery was mailed to all Nordic departments of urology. The questions focused on the use of VTEP and were subdivided into different surgical modalities.
Results: Questionnaires were mailed to 91 institutions (response rate 53%). None of the centers used VTEP before surgery, unless the patient had a vena caval tumor thrombus. Overall, the VTEP utilized during hospitalization for patients undergoing renal surgery included early mobilization (45%), compression stockings (52%) and low-molecular-weight heparin (89%). In patients undergoing open radical Nx, 80% of institutions used VTEP during their hospitalization (23% compression stockings and 94% low-molecular-weight heparin). After leaving the hospital, the proportion and type of VTEP received varied considerably across institutions. The most common interval, used in 60% of the institutions, was for a period of 4 weeks. The restriction to the Nordic countries was a limitation and, therefore, may not reflect the practice patterns elsewhere. It is a survey study and, therefore, cannot measure the behaviors of those institutions that did not participate.
Conclusion: We found variation in the type and duration of VTEP use for each type of local intervention for renal cancer. These widely disparate variations in care strongly argue for the establishment of national and international guidelines regarding VTEP in renal surgery.
Keywords: complication; minimally invasive methods; mortality; nephrectomy; surgery; thrombosis prophylaxis; venous-thrombotic-embolic prophylaxis kidney cancer.