What Are the Dangers of Neck Surgery?

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Neck surgery comes with certain risks and dangers. When the procedure is done by a trained medical professional with experience in the field, these risks are lessened. However, anyone who goes through the procedure is prone to the same dangers and risks.

Dysfunction

  • One of the greatest dangers facing patients who go through neck surgery is the risk of dysfunction. This can occur in one or multiple parts of the body. Sexual dysfunction is common in that you might lose your sex drive or experience problems maintaining or getting an erection. Bladder and bowel dysfunction are also common. You may discover that you can't control your bladder or bowels following the operation, or you may need to use the bathroom more frequently than you did before.

Medical Complications

  • Medical complications are another danger associated with neck surgery. These dangers are also common with any type of surgery involving the spinal cord. Patients should be aware of medical complications, such as blood clots and stroke, that may occur. You may also suffer a heart attack while on the operating table or at a later date. In addition, there's the danger of death occurring while you're undergoing the surgical procedure.

Infection

  • Neck surgery also carries the potential danger of an infection setting in at the site of the operation. The infection occurs when bacteria sets in and the body can't fight that bacteria. An infection can also set in if the wound left behind after the surgery isn't properly cared for. The danger can worsen if the infection is left untreated, which can lead to serious problems including death. You'll also notice that your body feels weak and that you have trouble walking or talking.

Bleeding

  • Neck surgery dangers also include the risk of increased bleeding. A small amount of bleeding during the surgery is expected, however, in certain cases, the bleeding may increase to an alarming level. Some patients also see bleeding occurring after the procedure is complete and after they've been released from the hospital. If increased bleeding occurs, the doctor may need to do a transfusion to lessen the chances of a more serious medical condition happening, including death.

Nerve Damage

  • Nerve damage is another danger associated with neck surgery. There's no way for the doctor to identify which patients have a greater risk of nerve damage when going under the knife. Nerve damage is a serious problem because it can cause more pain to the area, although some patients also notice a numb or tingling feeling in the area. The doctor must fix the problem by performing a second surgery on the neck; it may take multiple surgeries to fix the nerve damage.

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