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What Are The Risks and Dangers Of Elective Surgeries?

Published on March 5, 2022

With the recent and active spread and containment efforts of Covid-19 across the country, many elective surgeries were postponed.  This was partly due to the allocation of resources and lack of available staff.  

As the country moves forward, elective surgeries will be rescheduled.  This means doctors and patients must discuss the potential benefits, outcomes, and dangers associated with these operations and whether the positives of these procedures will outweigh the negatives for all of those involved.

What Is An Elective Surgery?

Doctors and health organizations currently define elective surgeries on a case-by-case basis as those that are not emergencies or those that lack urgency.  Elective surgeries are scheduled in advance at a convenient time for the surgeon, hospital, and patient, as the patient is medically stable and not in danger of disability or death.

Elective surgeries include medically necessary and non-medically necessary operations.  A medically necessary elective surgery would include a hernia operation, while a non-medically necessary elective surgery would include a breast augmentation meant for physical appearance reasons alone.

Some of the most common elective surgeries are plastic surgery, replacement surgery, and exploratory surgery.  These and their potential risks are discussed below.  

What is Plastic Surgery or Cosmetic Surgery?

Plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery can improve the appearance and function of any part of the anatomy except for the central nervous system.  It can also reconstruct facial and body tissue defects such as scars, burns, and birthmarks.  

Some of the most popular types of plastic surgery today are:

  • Liposuction or fat removal;
  • Breast augmentation;
  • Eyelid reshaping;
  • Tummy tuck;
  • Nose reconstruction; and 
  • Facelift.

Individual plastic and cosmetic surgeries have specific complications and risks.  These need to be discussed before making any decisions about undergoing an operation.

What is Replacement or Reconstructive Surgery?

Replacement or reconstructive surgery is used to repair body parts affected by congenital disabilities, developed by disease, or caused by injury.  Nearly one million reconstructive surgeries are performed each year.   

Typical replacement or reconstructive surgeries include:

  • Breast reconstruction;
  • Breast reduction;
  • Limb salvage;
  • Facial reconstruction;
  • Hand procedures for carpal tunnel and arthritis;
  • Knee replacement and hip replacement; and
  • Gender confirmation surgeries.

Reconstructive surgery may be used to repair areas ravaged by trauma, cancer, or infection. 

What is Exploratory Surgery?

Exploratory surgery occurs when the abdomen or another body cavity is opened and the organs are examined for injury or disease.  It is used in the diagnosis of certain conditions and as a preventative health measure.  Exploratory surgery or procedures may be used in the staging of some cancers. 

The most common exploratory surgeries are exploratory laparotomy or abdominal surgery.  These are typically done by using small incisions and a camera.  

What are the Risks Associated with Elective Surgery?

Elective surgeries share many risks.  Some of the most common of these may include: 

  • An unexpected reaction to anesthesia;
  • Scarring;
  • Excessive bleeding or blood clotting;
  • Nerve damage;
  • Fluid buildup; 
  • Separation at the incision site.
  • Infection;
  • Healing problems; and
  • Fatigue.

Always discuss concerns and risks about elective surgical treatment and aftercare before undergoing any operation.

Discuss Your Concerns with an Experienced Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you suspect a medical mistake occurred during your elective surgery or made you ill following your elective surgery, speak with a professional at Knapp & Roberts today.  You may qualify to recover for any corrective surgeries, medical costs, and pain and suffering caused by your medical provider.

Do not hesitate to contact Knapp & Roberts.  Our medical malpractice attorneys will meet with you confidentially to discuss your injuries.  Let us advise you of the best legal steps you can take as the victim of negligent medical care in Arizona.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.