Purpose: Candidates for prostatectomy who require chronic anticoagulant therapy present a major perioperative management problem due to the threat of significant hemorrhage associated with surgery and the risk of thromboembolism associated with discontinuation of the anticoagulants. We evaluated prospectively a perioperative routine using low molecular weight heparin substitution to allow safe discontinuation of prophylactic oral anticoagulants in patients undergoing transurethral resection of the prostate. Materials and methods: We treated 20 patients on chronic oral anticoagulant therapy who required prostatectomy for bladder outlet obstruction according to a prospective protocol based on exchange of the oral anticoagulants with perioperative injections of low molecular weight heparin and resumption of oral anticoagulants early postoperatively. The safety and efficacy of this regimen were assessed in comparison to a control group comprised of 20 randomly selected nonwarfarin treated patients who underwent prostatectomy during the same period. Results: The need for blood transfusions and mean number of units transfused did not significantly differ between the 2 groups. Due to persistent hematuria routine removal of the catheter was possible only in 9 of 20 patients (45%) in the heparin group compared to 18 of 20 (90%) in the control group. Average catheterization and hospitalization period in the heparin group was 3.2 days and 4.2 days respectively, compared to 2.1 and 2.1 days in the control group, respectively (p <0.01). No long-term hemorrhagic or thromboembolic complications were noted at 3 months postoperatively. Conclusions: Despite longer hospitalization in the heparin treated group, our substitution protocol is safe and effective.
- Molecular weight
- Transurethral resection of prostate