What can a doctor do to reduce the risk of a pulmonary enbolism during surgery?
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Doctor Answers 5
Body lift - reducing risk of pulmonary embolism
- This is my approach -
- First, calculate risk of DVT
- If risk is high, give enoxaparin after surgery and maybe a leg ultrasound at 2 days looking for clots
- If risk is moderate, consider no enoxaparin but a leg ultrasound the day after surgery to check for clots
- (Blood clots begin during surgery)
- If risk of low, no enoxaparin, no ultrasound.
- But I always, always make sure body lift patients are up and walking the day after surgery
- Even people at low risk can get blood clots if they stay in bed most of the time.
Lovenox to Prevent Pulmonary Embolism #bodycontouring
- We place all of our tummy tuck and lower body lift patients on Lovenox (an injectable blood thinner) for one week after their procedure.
- Tummy tuck and lower body lift patients are at an increased risk for developing a clot in their leg (DVT: deep vein thrombosis). If this clot travels to the lungs this is called a pulmonary embolism (PE), and this can be disastrous.
- Therefore, in order to maximally prevent this from occurring we prescribe Lovenox for our patients.
- There is theoretically an increased risk of bleeding on Lovenox, but in practice we have not seen an increase in post-operative bleeding.
- Other ways to help prevent a pulmonary embolism involve placing special squeezers on your calves during surgery, and these devices are known as sequential compression devices. All surgeons use these.
- Post-operatively, being active by walking around can also prevent a pulmonary embolism.
- Definitely discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon.
How to avoid pulmonary embolism during surgery
Discuss this with your surgeon, and good luck to you.
Frank Rieger M.D. Tampa Plastic Surgeon
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