SURGERY - RISK OR REWARD
Posted on 24th February 2020 at 17:12
No surgery is risk free but in the vast majority of cases it is important to have it done when recommended by your treating clinician.
There is, of course, the odd exception to this rule of thumb, notably that of disgraced breast surgeon Ian Patterson who was recently found guilty of performing hundreds of unnecessary operations on patients. He charmed and manipulated his patients into trusting him, yet he was described in court as a psychopath.
The Pattersons and Shipmans of this world are thankfully few and far between but when advised to go under the knife there are still consideration to be made.
• Will your life be improved by the surgery or do the risks outweigh the rewards?
• Are there any non-surgical remedy alternatives?
• Are your heart and lungs strong enough to withstand surgery?
The risks that come with surgery are numerous;
• Bleeding is a biproduct of virtually all surgery, but severe bleeding can cause a crisis and make a transfusion necessary.
• Delayed healing after surgery. Some people can recover quickly. For others it can be a long and difficult process.
• Infections are far more likely to occur when a person’s natural barrier, their skin, is broken.
• Scarring, swelling and bruising will occur at the surgical site with the former likely to remain lifelong.
• Injury during surgery. It is not uncommon that during surgery another part of the body is injured. For example, a surgeon working on one part of the body might accidentally nick another one in close proximity with his scalpel causing injury.
• Death. The riskier the procedure the more possible it is for there to be a fatal outcome.
In summary, discuss the operation with the surgeon beforehand so you know the risks and can make an informed decision. If you continue to remain unconvinced then make arrangements to obtain a second opinion.
Tagged as: Medical Negligence
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