Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Study highlights risk of fatal blood clots after surgery

  • Comment

The risk of of a fatal blood clot after surgery, particularly for hip and knee replacements and cancer, is higher than previously thought, according to research published in the British Medical Journal.

It reports a study of 947,000 women showing that those requiring inpatient surgery were 70 times more likely to suffer a post-operative blood clot in the first six weeks, and 10 times more likely among day-case patients.

The risk was highest in the third week after an operation, and lowest after seven to 12 weeks. The risks were similar for people suffering either a blood clot on the lung (pulmonary embolism) or deep vein (deep venous thrombosis).

The study, by a team from the Oxford University, estimates that one in 140 middle-aged women undergoing inpatient surgery will suffer a blood clot within 12 weeks, rising to one in 45 after a hip or knee replacement and one in 85 after surgery for cancer.

Among day-case patients the figure is one in 815, and one in 6,200 among women not having surgery at all. The authors conclude: “These findings suggest that the risk of venous thromboembolism (blood clot) after surgery is greater and lasts for longer than previously thought.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.