Pre-Operative, Intra-Operative, and Post-Operative Factors Associated with Post-Discharge Venous Thromboembolism Following Colorectal Cancer Resection

Cary Jo R. Schlick, Jessica Y. Liu, Anthony D. Yang, David J. Bentrem, Karl Y. Bilimoria, Ryan P. Merkow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the most common preventable cause of 30-day post-operative mortality, with many events occurring after hospital discharge. High-level evidence supports post-discharge VTE chemoprophylaxis following abdominal/pelvic cancer resection; however, some studies support a more tailored approach. Our objectives were to (1) identify risk factors associated with post-discharge VTE in a large cohort of patients undergoing colorectal cancer resection and (2) develop a post-discharge VTE risk calculator. Methods: Patients who underwent colorectal cancer resection from 2012 to 2016 were identified from ACS NSQIP colectomy and proctectomy procedure–targeted modules. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with post-discharge VTE. Incorporating pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative variables, a post-discharge VTE risk calculator was constructed and validated. Results: Of 51,139 patients, 387 (0.76%) developed post-discharge VTE. Pre-operative factors associated with post-discharge VTE included BMI (e.g., morbidly obese OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.65–3.12 vs. normal BMI), and thrombocytosis (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.03–1.92). Intra-operative factors included operative time (4–6 h OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.12–2.17; > 6 h, OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.21–2.84, vs. < 2 h), and type of operation (e.g., open partial colectomy OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.30–2.16 vs. laparoscopic partial colectomy). Post-operative factors included anastomotic leak (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.31–3.21) and post-operative ileus (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.07–1.79). Using the risk calculator, the predicted probability of post-discharge VTE ranged from 0.04 to 10.29%. On a 10-fold cross validation, the calculator’s mean C-Statistic was 0.65. Conclusions: Patient-specific factors are associated with varying rates of post-discharge VTE. We present the first post-discharge VTE risk calculator designed for use at the time of discharge following colorectal cancer resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-154
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Post-discharge VTE
  • VTE risk calculator
  • Venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Surgery


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