A retrospective study of patients who underwent varicose vein surgeries with a tourniquet found a greater incidence of deep vein thromboses (DVTs) than previous studies.

Within the first 3 postoperative days, 113 (7.7%) of the 1,461 patients had DVTs. The researchers also found that DVTs occurred significantly more often in patients with gastrocnemius vein dilation (GVD). A total of 410 (28%) of the study’s participants had GVTs, and the incidence of DVTs was significantly greater in individuals with GVD compared to those without such a symptom. GVD had a higher predictive power for postoperative DVT than did all of the other risk factors examined in univariate and multivariate analyses.

The vast majority of the DVTs diagnosed were isolated distal. While 94 patients suffered from this kind of DVT, the remaining 19 DVTs were proximal. According to Dr. Chen Kai of Wenzhou (China) Medical University, and colleagues, proximal DVTs were nearly always asymptomatic and a larger percentage of them took more time to disappear than did the distal DVTs. Within 6 months following anticoagulant therapy, 94.3% of the distal DVTs exhibited thrombus resolution and 55.6% of the proximal DVTs were thrombus free. None of the study’s participants had died because of DVT or pulmonary embolus during the 6 months following their surgeries.

This study’s “present data reflect a higher incidence of postoperative DVT than previous studies, and we also identify GVD as a significant risk factor. Larger prospective studies will be needed to evaluate this issue precisely and to understand the clinical relevance of these results,” wrote the researchers.Find the full study in Thombosis Research ( doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2015.03.008 ).