There are risks and possible complications associated with almost every activity in our day-to-day lives. We all accept this as a natural part of everyday life. Surgery is no different in this regard.
It is our policy to advise you that there are risks associated with all surgical operations and associated anaesthetics. This note begins to describe those risks in a general way, without talking about any one operation. It is impractical (if not impossible) to list every possible complication which may occur as a consequence of your surgery.
Firstly, some complications may occur at the time of surgery. These complications are related to the surgery itself, and would include damage to the operation site or its surrounding area. This could include damage to blood vessels, nerves, tendons, muscles, ligaments, bone or other tissues that might be encountered at the time of the operation. There are further complications that may occur as a part of the anaesthetic. These could include major or minor reactions to drugs administered at the time of operation, and rare complications such as strokes, heart attacks, or abnormal heartbeats.
Secondly, there are complications that may occur in the period after your operation. These would include reactions to dressings or drugs taken, postoperative bleeding and serious bruising, infection at the site of your operation, clots in veins and continuing pain and dysfunction after your operation or procedure.
Both doctors and patients want the best possible result for the operation, although there are always above and below average results for each operation. As surgeons, we always aim to improve the average results, knowing that some patients will always do better after their operation than others. An above average result is tremendously satisfying to both patient and surgeon; a below average result does not necessarily mean either a failure or a complication of the operation, although it can be very disappointing to both the doctor and the patient.
As an orthopaedic patient, you are assured we will do everything possible to make sure you get the very best result from your operation, with the least number of complications. Unfortunately, surgeons cannot give any guarantees. This is very important, and patients should understand this before having any operation.
Should you wish to discuss anything further about your operation, we would be pleased to book an appointment for you for that purpose.