Surgical Complications to Be Aware Of

Surgical Complications to Be Aware Of

Surgical Complications to Be Aware Of

Any surgical procedure is accompanied with the risk of surgical complications. The fact is, it is rarely planned or intentional.  When undergoing surgery, a doctor punctures your skin by cutting into your body. Your body will respond to this, just like when you cut yourself or get into an accident.

Your doctor can often reveal to you the picture of what to expect during surgery. However, sometimes there will be surgical complications, as well as symptoms that pop-up that are not part of the healing process. Even though they may not that serious, there are some such as blood clots, which can become dangerous.  This might decrease the rate at which you recover.

Pay attention to what is going on with your body and how you feel in days and weeks after surgery. If you are worried or if something is “out of the ordinary”, call your doctor immediately. The amount of discomfort after surgery depends on the type of operation being performed. Typical surgical complications include:


Almost everyone suffers after surgery. How much will depend on the type of procedure you had and your condition before going to the operating room.

Presently, the majority of the procedures used are less “invasive”.  In the end, it hurts less and your recovery will be faster. And there are many options for pain management. Before surgery, meet and discuss with your doctor about your options.  Talk about what seems to be the right thing for you.

When the pain is well controlled, you will probably be moving again shortly after surgery. It is essential to continue with daily activities. This will limit your chance of developing surgical complications, such as blood clots or pneumonia.

Anesthesia Reaction

When you wake up from being “under”, you will feel potentially nauseous and groggy. Common complaints include:

  • Discomfort
  • Confusion
  • Chills
  • Itching
  • Throat irritation

The above symptoms shouldn’t last for a long period of time.

Severe anesthesia reactions are rare, but they do occur. For some people, confusion and memory loss may last up to a week. And others have a higher risk of long-term memory loss. Contact your doctor about these risks if you have:

  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • A past stroke

Diarrheal Problems

Anesthesia prevents your normal breathing and can cause you to have a cough. After chest or abdominal surgery, for example, you can find it very difficult to inhale deeply and breathe out air. There can be an accumulation of mucus in your lungs. And there are cases where you will show no symptoms. But if a large part of your lungs crashes or stop inflating, it can result to:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Quick breathing and heart rate
  • Blue lips or skin

In order to prevent collapsed lungs, your doctor may be asking you to make use of a device known as an incentive spirometer. This device is used to measure your breathing and helps you take a slow and deep breath. Get up and walk around as soon as possible after surgery. Try coughing to assist you in the clearing of the fluid out of the lungs.


Cases of infections are considered to be minor.  It only appears and affects the skin around the area where the surgery has taken place. But, infections can slow the healing process.  Sometimes infections can become serious and even pose surgical complications and threats to life.

Pay attention to:

  • Redness and swelling around the cut
  • Fluid or pus that drains from the wound
  • Fever

In general, less than 3 out of 100 people will have an infection after surgery. But the chances are higher if you are older, if you smoke if you have excessive body weight, or have diabetes or other medical problems. The risk is also higher for an emergency operation or surgery that lasts for more than a few hours.

Your doctors, nurses, and other health professionals need to wash their hands and all the tools and devices they thoroughly use. As you recover, carefully follow the doctor’s instructions to care for where the cutting has taken place. Wash your hands before you do it. When friends and family come to visit, let them wash their hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer.

Blood Clots

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) may be a problem, especially after the hip or leg surgery. It is a blood clot in the vein at the base of the thigh or abdomen. It can results in swollen legs, red and painful, or cause no symptoms.

DVT can be dangerous due to the fact that if the clot is released, it can move down to the lung can become blocked and also block the rate of blood flow. This is referred to as a pulmonary embolism. The symptoms are listed below:

  • Sudden lack of breath
  • A cough
  • Pains on the chest

They are often the first signs of distress and require emergency medical help.

Most commonly, a clot will occur in the first days after the operation. The only way to avoid it is by starting a movement as soon as possible. Even leg lifting can stimulate circulation and reduce your chances of DVT.

Muscle Loss

It’s certain that after surgery, you will experience some kinds of weakness in your muscle.  Especially, after some days of sleeping on the bed. But others may not. Even healthy young adults lose about 1% of their muscles daily in full relaxation. For the elderly, it reaches 5% per day.

The weaker you are, the more time you will have to completely recover. Sit and move when you can. Get out of bed as soon as it’s safe. Eat nutritious foods that will help you cure and retain your energy.

If you ever are in question of medical negligence after surgery, or if you have had surgical complications, it may be a good idea to contact a professional and legal lawyer to get advice.

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