Performing colorectal surgery laparoscopically instead of via open techniques may reduce the risk of post-operative clotting, according to a study published in the Archives of Surgery.
In an analysis of nearly 150,000 patients who underwent colorectal surgery over a 5-year period, those who had open procedures "were almost twice as likely to develop [venous thromboembolism] compared with patients" who had minimally invasive surgery, say researchers from the University of California-Irvine Medical Center. Specifically, 1.44% of open surgery patients developed VTE, compared with 0.83% of laparoscopic surgery patients.
The decreased risk of blood clotting may be attributed to the shorter recovery times, reduced post-op pain and reduced bowel obstruction associated with laparoscopic vs. open surgery, suggest the researchers.
Basing their analysis on National Inpatient Sample data from about 20% of U.S. hospitals between 2002 and 2006, the authors also identify several other statistically significant risk factors for VTE among colorectal surgery patients, including inflammatory bowel disease, patients undergoing rectal resections, cancer, obesity and congestive heart failure.
"These findings may help colorectal surgeons use appropriate VTE prophylaxis for patients" undergoing such procedures, write the authors.
"VTE is one factor for mortality associated with colorectal surgery. Anything you can do to reduce the incidence should be utilized," says co-author Ninh Nguyen, MD. He noted that just because the risk is lower for patients having minimally invasive procedures doesn't mean you can eliminate prophylaxis for those patients.
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