Common Complications with Surgery
A surgery is always a difficult time for any patient and his family. Not only does he have to cope with the thought of himself being cut open and his insides probed upon, he also has to worry about the possible outcomes, whether or not the surgery is successful and whether or not there will be complications. There are always risks associated with any surgical procedure. These will be discussed to the patient and his family by the physician-in-charge, and if the benefits outweigh the risks, the doctor would advise undergoing surgery. This article will list some of the more common complications that happen during surgeries.
There will always be pain involved in surgery — or at least after the surgery. Since the patient will be under anaesthesia during the procedure, he won’t be feeling a thing, but once the effects of the anaesthesia wear off, the pain will set in. The amount of pain the patient will be experiencing depends on the degree of invasiveness of the surgical procedure. Pain can be managed by analgesics that may be prescribed post-operatively.
Surgical incisions that are not cleaned regularly and properly can be a cause of infection post-operatively. Infections are caused by microorganisms which enter the lesion on the skin. They present as pain in the infected area, abscesses, and redness. Infections are once a major cause of post-operative morbidity, but the advent of prophylactic antibiotics had significantly reduced the number of infected cases.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
DVTs occur when blood clots that were formed during the surgical procedure gets lodged in the deep-lying veins in the body, cutting off further blood supply to the rest of the tissues. This presents a more serious problem if the clots clogged on the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or the heart (coronary thrombosis). To assess for deep vein thromboses, check the extremities, especially the legs where clots usually form, for swelling and pain. DVTs are prevented by the administration of anticoagulants, such as warfarin, and checking for the rate of clotting before the procedure.
Haemorrhage occurs when the patient experiences rapid and extreme blood loss from the surgical site. This will cause a sudden decrease in the blood pressure and will further lead to shock. To prevent haemorrhage, a complete blood count (CBC) is checked by the physician to make sure that the patient will not experience any complications related to blood. In the event of a haemorrhage, a blood transfusion would be required, so patent intravenous lines are ensured before surgery.
Anaesthesia is used to dull the central nervous system (CNS) of the patient, thus inhibiting his senses and reflexes. The administration of anaesthesia is a very specific science which takes into consideration the body weight and age of the patient in computing for the dosage. The degree of adverse reaction to anaesthesia is dependent on the type, route and the dosage of the anaesthesia administered. Most patients will experience confusion and dulling of the senses while the anaesthesia is still in effect, but for the most part the effects will wear off after a few days.