Purpose: Patients undergoing lower extremity amputation are perceived to be at high risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Limited data are available, however, to confirm this impression. The purpose of this study is to prospectively document the incidence of DVT complicating lower extremity amputation. Methods: During a recent 28-month period, 72 patients (71 men, 1 woman; mean age 68 years) undergoing major lower extremity amputation (31 above-knee and 41 below-knee) were prospectively evaluated with perioperative duplex scanning for DVT. Results: DVT was documented in nine (12.5%) patients (one bilateral, four ipsilateral, and four contralateral to amputation). Patients with a history of venous disease were at significantly higher risk for development of DVT (p = 0.02). Thrombi were located at or proximal to the popliteal vein in eight patients and were isolated to the tibial veins in one patient. DVT was identified before operation in six patients and after operation in three. Patients with DVT were treated with heparin anticoagulation, with no patient experiencing clinical symptoms compatible with pulmonary embolism. Conclusions: In our recent experience, lower extremity amputation is associated with DVT at or proximal to the popliteal vein in 11% of patients. Documentation of DVT prevalence is essential to assist surgeons in planning a management strategy for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of DVT associated with lower extremity amputation. (J VASC SURG 1995;22:612-5.).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine