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J Urol. 1993 Oct;150(4):1176-8.

The effect of intermittent pneumatic compression devices on intraoperative blood loss during radical prostatectomy and radical cystectomy.

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Department of Urology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107.


Intermittent pneumatic compression devices are a widely used, effective and presumed risk-free method of deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis, presumably by increasing peak venous blood velocity, and stimulating local and systemic fibrinolysis. We investigated whether intermittent pneumatic compression devices had any effect on intraoperative blood loss or transfusion during radical pelvic urological surgery. To our knowledge no previous study has addressed these issues. Records were reviewed for patients undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy or radical cystectomy with diversion from 1985 to 1990. A total of 91 cases was reviewed: 38 radical retropubic prostatectomies and 53 radical cystectomies with diversion (34 male and 19 female patients). There were 59 patients with intermittent pneumatic compression devices (29 radical retropubic prostatectomies and 30 radical cystectomies with diversion) and 32 without intermittent pneumatic compression devices (9 radical retropubic prostatectomies and 23 radical cystectomies with diversion). Intraoperative blood loss and transfusions were calculated for each group with and without intermittent pneumatic compression devices. No clinically apparent lower extremity deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolus was diagnosed in any patient. For the group with intermittent pneumatic compression devices mean intraoperative blood loss was 2,541 ml. (range 700 to 8,850) versus 1,807 ml. (range 450 to 5,100) without a device, for a statistically significant difference of 734 ml. (p = 0.005). When 5 patients with excessive intraoperative blood loss (more than 5,000 ml.) were excluded the statistically significant difference was maintained. When comparing radical retropubic prostatectomy and radical cystectomy with diversion, with and without intermittent pneumatic compression devices, blood loss was greater for the group with a device for each procedure. Differences in intraoperative blood loss were independent of sex or tumor stage. Intraoperative transfusions were increased by approximately 0.6 units per patient with the device. Our study suggests that intermittent pneumatic compression devices may increase blood loss during a radical pelvic operation.

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