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© 2015 BJS Society Ltd Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. BACKGROUND: Guidelines recommend extended thromboprophylaxis following colectomy for malignant disease, but not for non-malignant disease. The aim of this study was to determine absolute and relative rates of venous thromboembolism (VTE) following colectomy by indication, admission type and time after surgery.METHODS: A cohort study of patients undergoing colectomy in England was undertaken using linked primary (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) and secondary (Hospital Episode Statistics) care data (2001-2011). Crude rates and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated for the risk of first VTE following colectomy using Cox regression analysis.RESULTS: Some 12,388 patients were identified; 312 (2·5 per cent) developed VTE after surgery, giving a rate of 29·59 (95 per cent c.i. 26·48 to 33·06) per 1000 person-years in the first year after surgery. Overall rates were 2·2-fold higher (adjusted HR 2·23, 95 per cent c.i. 1·76 to 2·50) for emergency compared with elective admissions (39·44 versus 25·78 per 1000 person-years respectively). Rates of VTE were 2·8-fold higher in patients with malignant disease versus those with non-malignant disease (adjusted HR 2·84, 2·04 to 3·94). The rate of VTE was highest in the first month after emergency surgery, and declined from 121·68 per 1000 person-years in the first month to 25·65 per 1000 person-years during the rest of the follow-up interval. Crude rates of VTE were similar for malignant and non-malignant disease (114·76 versus 120·98 per 1000 person-years respectively) during the first month after emergency surgery.CONCLUSION: Patients undergoing emergency colectomy for non-malignant disease have a similar risk of VTE as patients with malignant disease in the first month after surgery.

Original publication




Journal article


The British journal of surgery

Publication Date





1629 - 1638