Thromboembolism complicating surgery for cervical and uterine malignancy: incidence, risk factors, and prophylaxis

Obstet Gynecol. 1983 Jan;61(1):87-94.


Venous thromboembolism is a leading cause of death and morbidity after extended surgery for early malignancies of the cervix and uterus. Two hundred eighty-one patients who underwent such surgery were retrospectively evaluated for associated risk factors, the incidence of clinically significant thromboembolic complications, and prophylactic value of low-dose heparin and antiembolism stockings. Significant thromboemboli were encountered in 7.8% of patients postoperatively and accounted for the only 4 postoperative deaths. Forty-five percent of patients who developed thromboemboli did so after discharge from the hospital. The preoperative risk factors found to be associated with thromboembolism, in order of statistical significance, were weight in excess of 85.5 kg, advanced clinical stage of malignancy, and radiation therapy within 6 weeks of the operative procedure. Low-dose heparin therapy and the use of antiembolism stockings as preventative measures did not appear to reduce the incidence of thromboembolic complications. A prospective study will be necessary to evaluate definitely the effectiveness of various therapeutic modalities on thromboembolism in gynecologic oncology patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Weight
  • Clothing
  • Female
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Premedication
  • Preoperative Care
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / prevention & control
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Thromboembolism / etiology*
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / surgery*


  • Heparin