Background Cancer patients have a 4 to 7 fold increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) vs the normal population. Chest guidelines recommend no chemical VTE prophylaxis for women with a <1.5% risk for VTE. Although the risk of VTE among women undergoing breast-conserving therapy is reported to be low overall, the rate without chemical prophylaxis has not been defined. The objective of the study was to establish the VTE risk among women undergoing breast-conserving surgery (BCS) who did not receive chemical VTE prophylaxis. Methods From a prospective breast cancer database, 1,000 consecutive patients who underwent BCS without chemical VTE prophylaxis and with mechanical prophylaxis (support hose and intermittent pneumatic compression devices) were analyzed for VTE occurrence within 30 days postoperatively. Institutional review board approval was obtained. Results The mean age was 65.4 ± 11.7 years, and mean body mass index was 27.3 ± 5.7. About 81.9% of the patients were postmenopausal. Median tumor size was 1.1 cm, and 24.7% of patients had lymph node metastases. The 30-day rate of clinically significant VTE was 0% (95% CI 0% to.37%). Hematomas requiring surgical intervention occurred among.6% of patients. Conclusions This cohort demonstrates that breast cancer patients undergoing BCS may be safely managed without chemical VTE prophylaxis because the risk with only mechanical prophylaxis is acceptable.
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