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Complications are possible after surgery

In the previous blog post, we discussed how some oral surgery patients suffered from endocarditis, a very serious complication, after their surgery. That story forces the question: What complications are possible following a surgery?

Most patients might notice that they are in pain after the surgery. Pain around the surgical site is common, but if that pain becomes severe or if it is accompanied by redness in the area, fever, or oozing, you might have an infection that needs to be addressed. Only around 1 percent of the 27 million surgical procedures performed annually in the United States result in an infection.

If it hurts when you breathe, you might be suffering from atelectasis, which is a partially collapsed lung. In severe cases, this can lead to pneumonia if you are unable to clear the mucus that is likely going to occur in the lungs. Signs of this condition are a rapid heart rate and shortness of breath.

Muscle atrophy is another problem that might occur. This is the loss of muscle mass that is caused by the inability to move in a normal manner. Muscle atrophy is one reason why doctors and nurses encourage you to get moving as quickly as possible after a surgery.

Another reason to get moving after a surgery is the risk of blood clots. Calf pain, swelling in the leg, chest pain, and shortness of breath are all possible signs of a blood clot.

When complications of surgeries are addressed appropriately and quickly, they can usually be solved. When there is a delay, you might suffer from more serious effects. In that case, seeking compensation is sometimes possible.

Source: WebMD, "8 Common Surgery Complications," Matt McMillen, accessed Sep. 09, 2016

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