The velocity of venous blood flow in the legs has been measured in patients before and after operation using 125I hippuran.
Immediately after operation there was a profound slowing of venous flow to about half the pre-operative rate. On the day following operation the rate had returned to the pre-operative level.
The effect of elevation of the legs has been investigated. Leg elevation approximately doubled the rate of flow.
The value of leg elevation as a measure in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis is discussed in the light of these findings. The paper provides evidence that the practice of elevation of the legs during and after operation increases venous flow rate.
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