No surgery is risk-free; it doesn’t matter how small the operation may be. Because of the risk, surgery should always be a last resort, and our healthcare system does a pretty good job of exhausting all the other options before turning to the operating table. The goal of surgery is to provide results that no other medical process can, and in order to determine if surgery is the best option for you, you need to look beyond the surgery to the results. Do the possible benefits outweigh the risk?
Before any surgical operation, you will have a “pre-op” appointment with your surgeon. This is the surgeon’s chance to lay out what will happen during your operation as well as the risks associated with it. It is also your chance to ask questions. This appointment empowers you to give “informed consent.” However, it usually happens within a few days of the operation, which can make it difficult to prepare thoroughly. By understanding some of the basic risks that accompany all kinds of surgery, you can prepare ahead of your pre-op and make tweaks afterward.
Common Surgical Risks
If surgery makes you nervous or scared, you aren’t alone. We understand that reading about everything that could go wrong during surgery probably isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, but knowledge allows you to prepare ahead of time, which can dispel a lot of anxiety. Read on to learn more!
- Clots can start at the area of your surgery. If they slip into the bloodstream, they can get stuck in the lung or brain, causing dramatic problems. You will likely be given a medication to thin your blood and be encouraged to keep moving. Inactivity creates blood clots, so getting up and moving as soon as possible is important. If you have had blood clots after surgery before, you are at higher risk to have them again, so let your surgeon know.
- People heal at different rates. However, there are some factors that can really slow healing down. Chronic illness, sickness, or immune system issues all force the body to divide its resources between recovery and fighting off problems. This is especially true for diabetics, whose recovery times are always longer due to inconsistent blood sugar levels.
- The staff conducting your surgery will do whatever it takes to carefully determine how you will react to anesthesia drugs. While anesthesia issues aren’t common, they are generally serious. The most common issue is problems with intubation. When the breathing tube is inserted, the patient can end up breathing food or fluid into his or her lungs. Another somewhat common complication is elevated blood pressure or increased heart rate during the procedure.
- As we said, your team will do everything necessary to ensure that your body can handle anesthesia. In very rare cases, the body reacts to the drugs negatively, causing the patient’s temperature to rise to life-threatening levels. If this has ever happened to you, your risk for a repeat situation is high. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist should be aware so they can prevent the issue from reoccurring.
- During surgery, you are put on a ventilator, which breathes for you. After the surgery, it can be removed. Some patients need to stay on the ventilator for a bit longer or have their breathing strengthened in a specialized facility, but most patients don’t.
- Your body has been constantly breathing on its own for years, so having the system disrupted puts it at risk for lung troubles like pneumonia. You will need to do breathing exercises after surgery to open up and strengthen your lungs again. Your facility will provide you with a pulmonary respirator, an item that most surgery patients love to hate. It is your friend, however, and you should closely follow your surgeon’s directions!
Turn to Justice Healthcare Group
When we head into surgery, we all hope for a complication-free experience. However, it is the rare patient who experiences no complications after a major operation. The good news here is that complications are somewhat normal and can be effectively managed with the correct help. At Justice Healthcare, we have dedicated ourselves to accompanying people of all ages on their roads to recovery. We are medical professionals capable of dressing your incision or cheering you on as you push through another round with your pulmonary respirator.
Many people seek to save money by roughing it at home with the help of family members. This plan can quickly backfire if complications come up that require a return to the hospital. Suddenly, hiring an in-home healthcare professional becomes the cheaper option. Instead of running the risk of paying for a second hospital stay and having to deal with the emotional ramifications of that type of setback, contact Justice Healthcare. We are here to help you in Houston!