Discomforts and Complications After Surgery
What are some common postoperative discomforts?
The amount of discomfort after surgery depends on the type of surgery done. Some typical discomforts include:
Nausea and vomiting (from general anesthesia)
Soreness in the throat (if the patient needs artificial ventilation; caused by a tube placed in the windpipe to assist breathing during surgery)
Soreness and swelling around the incision site
Restlessness and sleeplessness
Constipation and flatulence
What complications may occur after surgery?
Sometimes complications can occur following surgery. The following are the most common complications, as defined by the American Medical Association.
Your child’s health care provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
How old your child is
His or her overall health and medical history
How sick he or she is
How well your child can handle specific medications, procedures, or therapies
How long the condition is expected to last
Your opinion or preference
Postsurgical complications may include:
Shock. Shock is the dangerous reduction of blood flow throughout the body. Shock is most often caused by reduced blood pressure.
Bleeding. Blood loss from the site of surgery, for example, can lead to shock.
Wound infection. When bacteria enter the site of surgery, an infection can result. Infections can delay healing.
Lung complications. A lack of deep breathing can lead to lung problems. Deep breathing exercises may be recommended to help keep the lungs healthy after surgery.
Urinary retention. Temporary urine retention, or the inability to empty the bladder, may occur after surgery. This is caused by the anesthetic.
Reaction to anesthesia. Although rare, reactions to anesthetics do occur.
The likelihood that complications of surgery will occur vary with each child and with each operation. Always consult your child's doctor for more information.
Last Reviewed Date: 11/03/2014
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