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Anaesthetic problems:

  • These are fortunately rare. It is important that you inform Chris and the anaesthetist of any major health problems and any medications that you take. Of particular importance are any drugs that thin the blood such as aspirin or any anticoagulant drugs. This can lead to prolonged bleeding, which can be serious and can also affect the results of the surgery.
  • If you smoke then this can also cause prolonged bleeding and you stand a higher chance of developing postoperative complications including a chest infection.

Surgical problems:

  • At time of surgery? It is important to inform Chris of any previous surgery you have had. This may affect the subsequent surgery that he carries out. There is also a small risk of excessive bleeding during the surgery. This is more likely in those people who smoke or take blood-thinning drugs. Occasionally the procedure itself may have to be abandoned, or delayed to a second operation.
  • Immediately after surgery? The main problem arising immediately after surgery is bleeding. This may be in the recovery room or a few hours after surgery. This can occur because your blood pressure will rise when the general anaesthetic wears off, allowing small blood vessels to open up. Also during the operation local anaesthetic is used for its vasoconstrictive action (to reduce bleeding). As this wears off after surgery, again bleeding may start. Often these problems can be overcome by special dressings, but occasionally a second operation is necessary. Postoperative pain is not usually a big problem, as the anaesthetist will prescribe effective analgesia which you will be given regularly, but the procedure is not usually too uncomfortable.
  • Late problems after surgery? These are rare. One of the main ones is infection, and this can manifest in several ways. It may present as delayed bleeding, at about 7-10 days after the surgery. It is important to contact Chris immediately. If the infection is not treated rapidly then there may be damage to deeper structures. Moderate to severe infection may need hospitalisation for a few days. Infection can also present with pain, a temperature or unpleasant taste or smell. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact Chris immediately.
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