Prophylaxis in Plastic Surgery Reduces Risk of Blood Clots

New ASAPS Campaign for Patient Safety Coincides with DVT Awareness Month

Surgeons who do not use prophylaxis (preventive measures) or do not properly implement prophylaxis often may be risking their patients’ safety, according to a new article on prevention of venous thromboembolic (VTE) events in cosmetic surgery patients appearing in the March/April issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal. . VTE is a disease process that includes both deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) and may have fatal or debilitating consequences. “Although the incidence of VTE appears to be relatively low in patients undergoing cosmetic surgery, plastic surgeons are always striving to further optimize patient safety,” says Mark L. Jewell, MD, President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), which publishes the peer-reviewed Aesthetic Surgery Journal. “This article, commissioned by the ASAPS Patient Safety Steering Committee, is the most comprehensive review, to date, of all the factors that should be considered when determining the need for measures to help prevent VTE in plastic surgery patients,” adds Dr. Jewell.

“The incidence of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism is difficult to pin down. Different authors cite different rates. Part of the problem is that much of the literature focuses on the incidence of confirmed VTE where patients have been diagnosed through imaging studies or autopsy. However because many patients with a DVT or PE have no symptoms, the exact number of cases that occur is hard to define. We need more studies on the incidence of DVT and PE and more awareness of the need for prophylactic measures,” said V. Leroy Young, MD, Associate Editor of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, and lead author of the article to be published in the forthcoming spring issue.

The publication of this important article coincides with the kickoff of the ASAPS “Campaign for Patient Safety,” which will focus initially on VTE, as well as a new partnership with the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis. The Aesthetic Society Campaigns for Patient Safety will include periodic focused patient safety initiatives including the release of new data and studies important to cosmetic plastic surgery patient safety.

“VTE is the first issue, but our goal is an ongoing initiative to raise awareness for steps that plastic surgeons and their patients can take to help ensure the safety of cosmetic surgery,” said Dr. Jewell.

To learn more from the Aesthetic Society about the risks of DVT and plastic surgery, log onto For more information about preventing DVT, log onto

About ASJ
Aesthetic Surgery Journal is the peer-reviewed publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and is the most widely read clinical journal in the field of cosmetic surgery, with subscribers in more than 80 countries.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the leading organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery. ASAPS active-member plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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