5 Common Complications After Surgery

Postoperative complications depend on many things, from the type of surgery performed to the overall health of the individual. While it is true that surgeries often involve a certain amount of risk, most patients recovering from such procedures only experience slight discomfort or minor complications that tend to go away shortly after arriving. But sometimes, more serious complications can arise, leading to longer recovery times. 

It is important to ask your doctor what to expect after your specific procedure to understand what sort of complications can happen and follow the discharge instructions to reduce any risk of complications. Nevertheless, always listen to your body, look out for any of the following complications after surgery, and seek immediate medical attention as some of these complications can prove to be fatal.

5 Complications After Surgery


Pain is the most common discomfort and complication almost every patient experiences after surgery. Even though it is the most common, extreme pain is not. Additionally, most surgeries are now less invasive and therefore pain should decrease. 

Patients should speak with their doctors before surgery to discuss possible relief methods to control and manage the pain. This will make the healing process easier to handle and speed up your recovery time to reduce the risk of further complications.


While serious infections are not very common, there are several factors that can increase your chances of developing an infection after surgery. These factors include being overweight, smoking, having diabetes, and being older. Additionally, patients who undergo emergency surgery that lasts a couple of hours can also increase the risk of infection. 

Symptoms that might signal to an infection include fever, pus or fluid draining from the wound, and redness or swelling around the incision. The best step to take in order to reduce the risk of infection is to always wash your hands properly and frequently. Also make sure to take any antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.

Reaction to Anesthesia

After being “under”, patients sometimes take some time before feeling normal again. Some common reactions to anesthesia include: nausea, confusion, chills, itching, and having a sore throat. While all these symptoms tend to go away after a couple of hours you should let your doctor know if any persist after a couple of days.

Challenges Using the Bathroom

Problems using the bathroom are a common issue patients have after surgical procedures. Not being able to pee can be temporarily fixed by having a catheter place into the urethra. This would only be for a short period of time as you regain control of your bladder after surgery. Constipation, which is another common issue, can be fixed by taking laxatives, which can be prescribed by your doctor. 

Blood Clots

Blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis, can be an extremely serious complication after surgery, which if left untreated can prove to be fatal. If patients go a long time without moving around, a blood clot can appear inside an arm, leg, or any other part of the body. If left untreated this clot can separate and travel through the bloodstream and end up in the lungs, cutting off blood flow. 

Symptoms of potential blood clots include chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing up blood, fainting, sweating, and an increased heart rate. If you experience any of these symptoms you should seek medical help immediately.  

Surgery Recovery at South Coast Post Acute

Recovery at South Coast Post Acute ensures the highest standard of care to each patient, as we provide exceptional quality service by highly trained medical professionals. Our services give you the opportunity to regain your highest level of functionality and get you back home in the fastest time possible. 

Our services include a team consisting of:

  • Licensed Physical Therapists
  • Licensed Occupational Therapists
  • Licensed Speech Therapists
  • 24-hour-a-day Registered Nurses
  • Nutritionists

With a re-hospitalization rate 68% lower than the national average, we provide you not only the physical care you need but also provide a supportive, welcoming environment. Contact us today to learn more.

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