Thursday, November 02, 2006

damage to nerves and vessels ......

Continuing my complication list, I want to bring your attention to neurovascular damage.

In every surgery, there is a risk that the surgeon may damage an important vessel or nerve. This is more likely in certain surgeries. For eg. In surgeries of the hip joint, the sciatic nerve may be damaged. The risk is much more if multiple surgeries are done.

What happens when a nerve is damaged ?

If the nerve is a major one, like the sciatic nerve then it could result in varying degrees of paralysis of the lower limb. Some injuries (neuropraxia are milder than others(neurotemesis). Recovery depends on the degree of damage Management of nerve injuries is often an uphill task

What about a vessel ?

When a major vessel is damaged, all hell could break loose. Usually the services of a vascular surgeon are immediately utilised for damage control. See If I am lucky, everything will turn out alright. Worst case scenario is an amputation (don't worry - this is extremely rare !) In addition to limb ischaemia, you could end up loosing a lot of blood.

What can I do to prevent these complications ?

The most important thing I can do is to choose my surgeon very carefully. Obviously the surgeon should be well qualified, highly accomplished, etc etc.
Other than this I will want to know the no. of such surgeries performed by him. A surgeon performing a particular surgery day in & day out will have far less complications than the surgeon who performs the same surgery occassionally.

I guess having a super duper specialist helps !

I,ll be back with more

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