(AscendHealthy.com) – All surgeries have risks, but emergency surgery can significantly ramp up the stakes. Not only are most emergency surgery patients already bordering on medical crises, but some of the procedures themselves can be difficult or cause new complications of their own.
These surgeries might be unavoidable, and some people might still die or suffer lasting problems despite having them performed. Here are five of the riskiest.
1. Bowel Resection
Small or large bowel resection can be necessary if there’s an obstruction, perforation or another issue in the bowel endangering healthy tissue. Small bowel resection surgery can sometimes cause a permanent complication called short bowel syndrome. People with this condition may suffer from malnourishment and weight loss, leading to the need for additional medical help.
CBS News explains that any emergency surgery involving the gut is riskier than planned procedures. The absence of bowel prep, which clears the intestines prior to surgery and reduces infection risks, is a major factor. Because the heavy bacterial load present in fecal matter can increase complications, emergency surgeries on both small and large intestines can be especially dangerous.
2. Coronary Artery Bypass
This surgery is so high-risk that about 14% of recovering patients need emergency room care within 30 days to manage their complications. Infections, pneumonia, blood clots and graft failure are among the host of problems that can strike coronary artery bypass patients.
According to Mayo Clinic, this procedure is often used to save lives after heart attacks, which alone have a death rate of about 3.8%. Because many of these patients are already in bad shape, emergency coronary artery bypasses are considered among the riskiest surgeries performed.
3. Peptic Ulcer Removal
Hemorrhaging causes the bulk of deaths related to peptic ulcer disease, with perforations accounting for about 40% of peptic ulcer mortalities. Survival depends significantly on how quickly surgeons can repair the damage; every hour of delay increases the chances of death by about 2.4%. Older patients, people with other health conditions, and those taking NSAIDs or steroids also have lower survival rates.
4. Abdominal Adhesion
This condition usually occurs due to trauma from previous surgeries, although certain inflammatory conditions can also sometimes cause them. Depending on where they are, they can cause intense pain, create dangerous obstructions or cut off circulation to the intestines or other organs. Surgery to remove them can leave the patient open to the possibility of additional adhesions, with new risks of their own.
5. Bleeding Esophageal Varices
Cirrhosis of the liver can cause blood vessel enlargement, or varices, in the esophagus or upper stomach, which may tear or rupture and cause life-threatening bleeding. When medications and other interventions fail, surgery may become necessary — but it’s only ever considered as a last-ditch effort due to high risks of complications. Even with successful treatment, the prognosis is often poor, with the chances high for recurrent bleeding.
No one ever wants to think about surgery, and the prospects of needing an emergency procedure can be even scarier. We can’t necessarily improve all odds of survival by being in our best possible shape — but the healthier we are, the more resilient we might be to certain complications. Prepare for the worst by being as healthy as possible for any battles that might be ahead.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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