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Br J Surg. 1985 Jul;72(7):579-81.

Heparin with and without graded compression stockings in the prevention of thromboembolic complications of major abdominal surgery: a randomized trial.


One hundred and seventy-six patients scheduled for elective major abdominal surgery were randomized to two prophylactic regimens to prevent postoperative thromboembolism. All patients were screened with the 125I-labelled fibrinogen uptake test, and thromboembolism was verified by ascending phlebography and/or perfusion/ventilation lung scintigraphy. In the group of patients receiving low-dose heparin treatment (5000 units twice daily subcutaneously) 12 per cent developed thromboembolic complications. In the other group, where low-dose heparin treatment was supplemented with graded compression stockings only 2 per cent developed thromboembolism. It is concluded that the combination of low-dose heparin and the use of graded compression stockings is superior to heparin alone in preventing thromboembolism following major abdominal surgery.

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