What Is the Most Common Complication After Surgery?

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

What Is Medical Surgery?

This is a procedure done on a human to change their body physical, cell, and organ structure by incision or destruction of tissues.

History of Medical surgery

Early surgery was performed by Sushruta of Indian descent called the father of surgery. History shows different cultures using different tools for surgical purposes. Surgeons in Rome and Greece came up with ingenious instruments made from iron and silver, for example, scalpels, curettes, specula, etc.

In 5000 B.C we see the first known practice of trepanation in France. Trepanation is surgery that drills a hole into the human skull. Surgery has then since evolved due to the invention of new tools and aesthetic material, which makes the surgery safer than it was in the old days.

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Why Surgery

The reason for surgery is varied. Surgery is used to investigate a root cause, treat diseases or injuries to help improve bodily functions. The operation involves operative manual and instrumental techniques, and there is making or confirming a diagnosis, repairing or repositioning tissue, implanting devices, transplanting tissues or organs, removing damaged tissue or obstruction, and redirecting blood vessels, among others.

Types of Surgery

Breast surgery

Can be a reduction surgery meant to ease conditions such as cancer. For example, augmentation surgery offers reconstruction to people who may have lost their breasts for one reason or another.

Colon and Rectal Surgery

Used to address anal cancer, anal fistula, colon cancer, polyps, and rectal cancer, among others.

Other types of cancer include:

Endocrine surgery, general surgery, genealogical surgery, hand surgery, head and neck surgery, hernia surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, outpatient surgery, and pediatric surgery among many others.

Advantages of Surgery

  • Prevention and improvement to a medical condition,
  • A positive increase in energy.
  • Increased life expectancy.
  • Weight loss or weight gain.
  • Better sleep.

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Common Complications After Surgery


This is a severe slowing of blood flow throughout the body caused by a severe drop in blood pressure.  This may be caused by infection, spine injury, blood loss, or metabolic problems. Treatment may include stopping blood loss, reducing heat loss, and giving extra oxygen among many others.


Bleeding from the site of injury can; for example, cause shock, among other complications, and ways to stop this include blood transfusion.

Wound Infection

An infection can occur when the site of injury gets bacteria in it. Infections delay healing and can spread to nearby organs or tissue through the blood. Treatment includes antibiotics or surgery to clean the infected areas.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

This is a blood clot found in a large vein in the leg, arm, or any other part of the body. Symptoms include tenderness, skin redness, pain, and swelling. Sometimes the clot can break off into the lungs and brain and cause a stroke or pulmonary embolism. Treatments usually used are compression stockings.

Pulmonary Embolism

When huge clots in the bloodstream break away and go to the lungs, the clot is called a pulmonary embolism. This may cause death if not treated urgently. Treatment includes thrombolytic medicines to dissolve clots, blood thinner medicines, or surgery.

Lung Problems

Lung problems may occur when one does not do deep breathing and coughing exercises within 48 hours of surgery. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, fever, wheezing and coughing, and chest pain. To reduce the chances of these complications; one needs to walk around, deep breaths, and cough often. Treatment depends on the cause of the lung problem.

Urinary Retention

Urinary retention is the inability to empty one’s bladder. This may be caused by certain types of surgeries or certain types of anesthesia. A thin tube is often used to drain the bladder and treat the condition. Medication as well may be given to stimulate the bladder.

Reaction to Anesthesia

This is very rare but can occur. To avoid this complication, one should tell the doctor of all types of allergies they may have. If an allergic reaction does occur, ask what caused it to avoid it in the future. Treatment is usually to stop the medication causing the allergy.

Nausea and Vomiting

Anesthetics are particularly known for their nausea side effects. A lot of patients usually experience nausea and vomiting after surgery. PNB HRMS. It can be a serious problem due to dehydration and reduces the healing capacity of a patient if not handled effectively

Gall Stones

In a few instances, stones may be left behind after the removal of the gall bladder. They are usually discovered three years after the surgery was done. Gall stones can continue to develop within the bile duct when the gall bladder has been removed surgically.

The Overall Risk of Passing Away

All treatments can be as risky as one passing away if there is any malpractice. The riskiest time of this happening is after an operation during recovery in the hospital holding. 70 % of the patients may pass away on the operating table while the remaining 29 % after they have been released from the hospital during recovery.

Health complications are expected but there is fear that a patient may pass away prematurely due to the incompetence of medical personnel. In this case, one is entitled to medical malpractice claims. There are numerous risks associated with critical surgery procedures, but there are also lots of benefits when the procedure is done well by the practitioners.