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- The day of the surgery
- Complications during surgery
Complications during surgery
Sometimes problems or complications occur during surgery. It’s very unlikely that all of the complications described here would apply to you. Your surgeon can give you a better idea of your actual risks.
Generally, the more complex the surgery is, the higher the chance of problems. (See also possible complications after surgery.)
Bleeding – You may lose blood during surgery. Your surgeon will usually manage and control bleeding. Rarely, you may receive a blood transfusion during surgery to replace lost blood.
Damage to nearby tissue and organs – Most internal organs are packed tightly together, so operating on one part of the body can affect nearby tissue and organs. This may alter how other organs work after surgery – for example, the surgeon’s handling of the bowel during pelvic surgery may cause temporary constipation (difficulty passing a bowel motion) or a build-up of gas in the abdomen.
Drug reactions – In rare cases, some people have a bad reaction to anaesthetic or other drugs used during surgery. This can cause a drop in blood pressure, heart rate and breathing, which is why an anaesthetist observes you during surgery.
|Tell your doctor if you’ve had any previous reactions to over-the-counter, prescribed or herbal medicine, even if the reaction was small.|
Prof Andrew Spillane, Surgical Oncologist, Melanoma Institute of Australia, and Professor of Surgical Oncology, The University of Sydney Northern Clinical School, NSW; Lynne Hendrick, Consumer; Judy Holland, Physiotherapist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Kara Hutchinson, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, VIC; A/Prof Declan Murphy, Urologist and Director of Genitourinary Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Prof Stephan Schug, Director of Pain Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, and Chair of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Western Australia Medical School, WA; Dr Emma Secomb, Specialist Surgeon, Hinterland Surgical Centre, QLD. We would like to thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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