What complications are associated with thoracic surgery?

As with any major surgical procedure, complications are likely to develop after a thoracic surgical procedure. Your surgeon will explain the risks associated with the surgical intervention before you decide upon undergoing thoracic surgery.

As with any major surgical procedure, complications are likely to develop after a thoracic surgical procedure. Your surgeon will explain the risks associated with the surgical intervention before you decide upon undergoing thoracic surgery.

Patients undergoing thoracic surgery are often elderly people with coexisting diseases, and therefore are more prone to develop respiratory complications. Nearly 20% of the patients undergoing resection of the lung develop one or more complications following the surgery and about 2% of the patients may lose their life. Such risks are higher, almost twice, after pneumonectomy and comparatively, are less after limited wedge resection procedure. Here is a list of the most common complications that are likely to develop after thoracic surgery:

  • Atelectasis
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Hemorrhage
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Infection of the wound
  • Persistent air leak

The other less frequent complications include the following:

  • Empyema
  • Bronchopleural fistula
  • Pulmonary torsion
  • Cardiac herniation
  • Chylothorax
  • Thromboembolism
  • Right ventricular failure
  • Nerve Injury
Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/

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