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7 Common Surgical Complications

Every surgery is well-planned and the patient is well informed about the procedure.

Surgery is done by incising the skin and tinkering with the inside, the body will obviously react to that as it does when you accidentally cut or bump yourself.

Sometimes there will be complications too which are not a part of the healing process. Though certain complications are not usually serious but can slow down the recovery process.

It is important you pay attention to what is happening to the body after surgery. Talk to your doctor if there is discomfort due to it.

Common Surgical Complications

7 Common Surgical Complications

  1. Pain

    Pain depends on the type of procedure and on the health of the patient.

    Mostly nowadays less invasive procedures are used so that the chances of complication are less.

    There are plenty of ways the pain can be managed. Never keep suffering from it, talk to the doctor and he can advise on the ways to get comfort.

    As the pain is controlled, more you will be willing to move around and faster you will be able to get back to the routine. Also, the chances of complications like a blood clot and pneumonia are reduced.

  2. Reaction to Anesthesia

    Waking up from anesthesia, the patient does not feel at his best. There is a queasy feeling, confusion, itching, sore throat, and chills.

    These symptoms usually do not last for long.

    Severe reactions to anesthesia such as confusion, memory loss are rare and can last longer. Some people also experience long-term memory loss.

  3. Breathing Problem

    After a chest or an abdominal surgery the patient may find difficult to breathe in and breathe out.

    Anesthesia hampers normal breathing and brings in an urge to cough. There can also be mucus build-up in the lungs.

    In less severe cases there might not be any symptom. If in case the lung collapses or if lungs stops inflating there can be,

    The surgeon often uses an incentive spirometer to prevent lung collapse, which measures the breathing and helps in taking slow, deep breathes.

  4. Infection

    • Infection can be minor to life-threatening. It is mostly found affecting the skin around the surgical cut.
    • There can be redness and swelling around the area of incision, fever, and fluid or pus draining from the wound.
    • Chances of infection are high in diabetic, overweight people, smokers, or those with any other medical issue.

    Follow the doctor’s instruction carefully. Wash hands before handling the incised area or if you have friends and family visiting ask them to clean hand with soap or sanitizer.

  5. Difficulty in Using The Washroom

    Certain anesthesia might make it difficult to pee. In such cases, the doctor inserts a catheter to empty the bladder.

    Holding on urine for long can also lead to infection in the bladder if not treated.(1)

    Constipation is another common problem after surgery. Certain medications, changes in diet, or staying immobile for long are the causes of constipation after a surgery. Laxatives are advised to relieve constipation.

  6. Blood Clots

    Deep vein thrombosis or blood clot deep in the vein is a problem which occurs after hip or leg surgery.

    In this complication, the leg may appear swollen, red, and painful. In some, there might not be any symptom at all.

    Deep vein thrombosis can be dangerous as the blood clot can break free and block the blood flow, this is known as pulmonary embolism. There might be,

    These are the signs, in which you may require a medical emergency.

  7. Loss of Muscle

    Due to long-time resting in bed even young and healthy adults lose about 1% of the muscles and there is 5% muscle loss in older adults.

    Weaker a person longer he takes to recover. Eating nutritious food can help recover fast and keep up the energy level.

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 10, 2019

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