Incidence and risk factors for venous thromboembolism events after different routes of pelvic organ prolapse repairs

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Aug;223(2):268.e1-268.e26. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.05.020. Epub 2020 May 13.


Background: Venous thromboembolism events, including deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are the most common cause of preventable deaths in hospitalized patients in the United States. Although the risk of venous thromboembolism events in benign gynecologic surgery is generally low, the potential for venous thromboembolism events in urogynecologic population is significant because most patients undergoing the pelvic organ prolapse surgery have increased surgical risk factors.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the incidence and risk factors for venous thromboembolism events within 30 days after different routes of the pelvic organ prolapse surgery in a large cohort population using the American College of Surgeons-National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

Study design: This retrospective cohort study used Current Procedural Terminology codes to identify pelvic organ prolapse repairs with and without concurrent hysterectomy performed during 2011-2017 in the American College of Surgeons-National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Demographics, preoperative length of hospital stay, operative time, preoperative comorbidities, smoking status, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification system scores, along with other variables were collected. Postoperative 30-day complications, including readmission, reoperation, and mortality, were collected. The incidence rates of venous thromboembolism, as defined by American College of Surgeons-National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, were compared among different surgical routes. Descriptive statistics were used, and logistic regression was performed to identify associations.

Results: Among 91,480 pelvic organ prolapse surgeries identified, 63,108 were analyzed: 43,279 (68.6%) were performed vaginally, 16,518 (26.2%) laparoscopically, and 3311 (5.2%) abdominally. A total of 34,698 (55.0%) underwent a concurrent hysterectomy. Of 63,108 subjects, 133 developed venous thromboembolism within 30 days after surgery (0.21%; 95% confidence interval, 0.18-0.25; P<.0001). More than half (60%) of venous thromboembolism events occurred within 10 days after surgery. For all surgical routes, older age (P<.041), higher body mass index (P=.002), race or ethnicity (P=.04), longer operating time (P<.0001), inpatient status (P<.0001), American Society of Anesthesiologists 3 or 4 (P<.0001), having preoperative renal failure (P=.001), and chronic steroid use (P=.02) were significantly associated with venous thromboembolism. In addition, in the vaginal pelvic organ prolapse repair group, concurrent hysterectomy (P=.03) and preoperative dyspnea (P=.01) were associated with development of venous thromboembolism. In the abdominal pelvic organ prolapse repair, concurrent hysterectomy (P=.005) and hypertension requiring medication (P=.04) were also independently associated with venous thromboembolism development (Table 1). The incidence of venous thromboembolism was highest in abdominal repairs (0.72%), followed by laparoscopic repairs (0.25%) and vaginal repairs (0.16%). After adjusting for confounders, abdominal compared with vaginal approach (adjusted odds ratio, 3.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.93-5.41; P<.0001), longer operative time (adjusted odds ratio, 1.005; 95% confidence interval, 1.003-1.006; P<.0001), older age (adjusted odds ratio, 1.020; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-1.037; P=.015), greater body mass index (adjusted odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.07; P=.0006), American Society of Anesthesiologists 3 or 4 (adjusted odds ratio, 1.55; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-2.31; P=.03), and preoperative renal failure (adjusted odds ratio, 8.87; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-44.15; P=.04) remained significantly associated with developing venous thromboembolism. Neither laparoscopic repair (compared with vaginal repair) nor concurrent procedures (hysterectomy, antiincontinence procedure, vaginal mesh insertion) were found to be significantly associated with the development of venous thromboembolism. The abdominal pelvic organ prolapse repairs were associated with an increased hazard of venous thromboembolism (hazard ratio, 3.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.96-5.45; P<.0001). Venous thromboembolism development was associated with 30-day mortality, readmission, and reoperation (all P<.0001).

Conclusion: The overall incidence of venous thromboembolism after pelvic organ prolapse repairs based on a recent, large cohort database was very low, confirming the finding in previous smaller cohort studies. The highest venous thromboembolism risk was associated with abdominal route, and more than 60% of venous thromboembolism events occurred within 10 days after surgery. Thus, focus should be placed on risk-reducing strategies in the immediate postoperative period, with greater emphasis on patients undergoing abdominal surgery.

Keywords: ACS-NSQIP, American College of Surgeons-National Surgical Quality Improvement Program,; PE, pulmonary embolism; deep venous thrombosis, DVT; incidence; pelvic organ prolapse, POP; risk factors; surgical routes; venous thromboembolism, VTE.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy, Vaginal / statistics & numerical data
  • Incidence
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Laparotomy / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Operative Time
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / surgery*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Pulmonary Embolism / epidemiology*
  • Reoperation
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism / epidemiology*
  • Venous Thrombosis / epidemiology*