Postoperative thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism have long been problems for the surgeon. Certain patients have a predisposition for these complications and a safe method of prevention would be of immense value. Anticoagulation with coumarins preparations has been well-documented1-3 as effective in preventing postoperative thromboembolic disease, but there are certain disadvantages to this method. Dextran 75 has been shown to be effective in treating thrombophlebitis and also in preventing arterial and venous thromboses under experimental and some clinical conditions.4-9
Certain conditions have long been known to predispose to venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Among these conditions are age above 50, obesity, and visceral cancer, as well as incisional prostatic surgery, hip surgery, prolonged immobilization, and most major abdominal, pelvic, and vascular operations.1-3,10 Anticoagulation is contraindicated in any situation which might give rise to bleeding and in liver disease. Good control is necessary and not always easy to obtain.
Hartshorn JWS, Teale SN, Faiz M. Dextran 75 and Postoperative PhlebitisEvaluation of Dextran 75 in the Prophylaxis of Postoperative Thrombophlebitis, Pulmonary Embolism, and Myocardial Infarction. Arch Surg. 1969;98(6):694-697. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340120042003