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World J Surg. 2014 Apr;38(4):976-84. doi: 10.1007/s00268-013-2336-7.

Postoperative portomesenteric venous thrombosis: lessons learned from 1,069 consecutive laparoscopic colorectal resections.

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Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Medical Center, MC 5095, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60637, USA,



Portomesenteric venous thrombosis (PVT) is a known complication after open and laparoscopic colorectal (LCR) surgery. Risk factors and the prognosis of PVT have been poorly described.


This study is a retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database. Patients with new-onset postoperative abdominal pain were evaluated with a computed tomography scan of the abdomen. Patients found to have PVT were analyzed. A multivariate analysis was performed to identify predictors of PVT.


A total of 1,069 patients undergoing LCR surgery for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or nonmetastatic cancer between June 2002 and June 2012 were included. Altogether, 37 (3.5 %) patients experienced symptomatic postoperative PVT. On univariate analysis, IBD (p < 0.001), ulcerative colitis (p = 0.016), preoperative therapy with steroids (p = 0.008), operative time ≥220 min (p = 0.004), total proctocolectomy (TPC) (p < 0.001), ileoanal pouch anastomosis (p = 0.006), and postoperative intraabdominal septic complications (p < 0.001) were found to be significant risk factors. By multivariate analysis, TPC (p = 0.026) and postoperative intraabdominal septic complications (p < 0.001) were independent predictors of PVT. In the PVT group, postoperative length of stay was longer (14.8 vs. 7.4 days, p < 0.001). Of the patients evaluated with a hematologic workup, 72.7 % were found to have a hypercoagulable condition. All patients were managed with oral anticoagulation for at least 6 months. No death or complications related to PVT occurred.


PVT is a potentially serious complication that is more likely to occur after TPC and in the presence of postoperative intraabdominal septic complications, particularly in patients with a coagulation disorder. Prompt diagnosis and treatment with oral anticoagulation are recommended to avoid long-term sequelae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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