The VTEPS Network is a consortium of five tertiary referral centers established to examine venous thromboembolism in plastic surgery patients. We report our mid-term analyses of the study’s control group to 1) evaluate the incidence of VTE in patients who receive no chemoprophylaxis and 2) validate the Caprini Risk Assessment Model (RAM) in plastic surgery patients.
Medical record review was performed at VTEPS centers for all eligible plastic surgery patients between March 2006 and June 2009. Inclusion criteria were Caprini score ≥ 3, surgery under general anesthesia, and post-operative hospital admission. Patients who received chemoprophylaxis were excluded. Dependent variables included symptomatic DVT or PE within the first 60 post-operative days and time to DVT or PE.
We identified 1126 historic control patients. The overall VTE incidence was 1.69%. Approximately one in nine (11.3%) patients with Caprini score >8 had a VTE event. Patients with Caprini score >8 were significantly more likely to develop VTE when compared to patients with Caprini score of 3–4 (OR 20.9, p<0.001), 5–6 (OR 9.9, p<0.001), or 7–8 (OR 4.6, p=0.015). Among patients with Caprini score 7–8 or Caprini score >8, VTE risk was not limited to the immediate post-operative period.
The Caprini RAM effectively risk-stratifies plastic and reconstructive surgery patients for VTE risk. Among patients with Caprini score >8, 11.3% have a post-operative VTE when chemoprophylaxis is not provided. In higher risk patients, there was no evidence that VTE risk is limited to the immediate post-operative period.