Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Deep Vein Thrombosis Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Aspirin Prevents Serious Complications From Surgery

By
WebMD Health News

April 13, 2000 (Eugene, Ore.) -- Small doses of ordinary aspirin may help decrease complications in people who go through major hip or knee surgery, according to a large study just published in the April 15 issue of thejournal Lancet.

Two of the main complications of major surgery are deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. A deep-vein thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in the blood vessels of the legs. If a clot breaks loose, it can travel upward, creating a blockage in the lung called a pulmonary embolism. An embolism is a serious condition that can lead to death. A thrombosis or embolism can occur weeks or even months after surgery.

Thrombosis and embolism are treated with certain medications that break up blood clots or prevent more clots from forming. These same medications can often be used to prevent them as well. Researchers examined whether aspirin could be used in patients undergoing hip and knee surgery to prevent these dangerous complications.

"In the past, there has been uncertainty whether aspirin would prevent this type of clot," says Anthony Rodgers, MD, lead author of the article. "The key advantage of aspirin is that it is easy to take, and its side effects are well known." Rodgers is with the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Researchers looked at more than 17,000 people who were having surgery for hip fracture or hip or knee replacements. Half of them got low dose aspirin each day, starting before their operation and continuing for 35 days. The other half got placebo pills that looked just the same.

When they tallied up the results, the difference was striking. Among patients with hip fracture, aspirin reduced the risk of an embolism by 43% and the risk of thrombosis by 29%. The effects of aspirin on patients having hip or knee replacements were similar. Based on his results, Rodgers urges physicians to consider that aspirin may be of benefit in other types of major surgeries or illnesses that increase the risk for blood clots.

Stephan Moll, MD, says he finds the study provides valuable benefits of aspirin. However, he remarks that the study does not conclude that aspirin is as good or better than other medications currently used to treat thromboses and emboli. Moll is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Medical School in Chapel Hill and wasn't involved in the study.

Today on WebMD

TAG dvt blood clot
Symptoms, causes, risk factors, and more.
businesswoman in airport
Tips to prevent another clot.
 
blood thinners
Tips for DVT.
Blood clots in artery
Causes and treatments.
 
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
Having Surgery Tips To Reduce DVT Risk And More
Slideshow
 
New DVT Therapies On The Horizon
Video
Atrial Fibrillation Guide
Slideshow
 

WebMD Special Sections