Surgery Risks

Thanks to advances in science, research and modern medicine by physicians, surgery and anesthesia are safer than ever before. But this doesn’t mean these procedures aren’t without risks. Any number of things can go wrong in the operating room, which is why it is important to talk with your doctor in advance and have a highly trained physician anesthesiologist supervising your care. You can also visit “Preparing for Surgery” to learn simple steps you can take to ensure the best possible outcome.

Think of physician anesthesiologists as your seat belt during surgery: When there are emergencies or complications, they can save your life.

Thanks to advances in science, research and modern medicine, surgery and anesthesia are safer than ever. But this doesn’t mean these procedures are without risks. To minimize your risk, it’s important to speak with your physician in advance and have a highly trained physician anesthesiologist supervising your care.

Certain health conditions may increase the risks of surgery and the potential for complications from anesthesia. These cos include:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease (angina, valve disease, heart failure or a previous heart attack)
  • diabetes
  • stroke
  • seizures or other neurological disorders
  • obesity
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • lung conditions (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD)
  • kidney problems
  • allergies to anesthesia or a history of adverse reactions to anesthesia

Smoking, or drinking two or more alcoholic beverages a day, also can increase the risks of surgery and complications from anesthesia.

To determine your risk before any surgery or procedure, your physician anesthesiologist will take a complete medical history to find out if you have any of these conditions or other issues, as well as ask if you are taking any medications, supplements or vitamins. It’s important for you to share all of your health information so your physician anesthesiologist can safely and effectively manage your care and treat any complications that might occur before, during or after surgery. For example, your physician anesthesiologist may choose a different type of anesthesia or method for providing it, which may be safer for you, based on your health conditions.

There also are simple steps you can take to ensure the best possible outcome. Visit “Preparing for Surgery” to learn more.