BACKGROUND: In 2008, the authors' institution adopted a policy requiring that all patients, regardless of preoperative risk, receive both sequential compression devices and a single preoperative subcutaneous 5000 unit injection of heparin. A previously published 12-year review at this same institution before this policy demonstrated a 1.5% 30-day postoperative incidence of hematoma in primary augmentation or delayed tissue expander based breast reconstructions. OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence of postoperative bleeding complications associated with preoperative administration of 5000 units of subcutaneous heparin and compare that incidence with previously published data. METHODS: Patient data were collected prospectively and maintained in a secure database at a single institution with institutional review board approval. Current procedural terminology and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, coding was then used to identify all patients who received either primary breast augmentation or delayed tissue expander based breast reconstruction during a five-year period. The primary outcome was the incidence of postoperative bleeding complication. A bleeding complication was defined as any hemorrhagic event that required a return to the operating room. RESULTS: The overall incidence of significant postoperative bleeding was 1.47% (five of 340 [1.16% augmentation, 2.50% expander]). Comparing the current results with the previously published data, demonstrated an OR of 0.98 (95% CI 0.38 to 2.55). CONCLUSION: In women undergoing primary breast augmentation or delayed tissue expander breast reconstruction, heparin prophylaxis did not increase the risk for significant postoperative bleeding compared with historical controls.
- Breast implant
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