Surgery is always nerve-wracking, but even more so when it’s emergency surgery. Often, if you are being ushered in for emergency surgery, you are facing a serious or even life-threatening health condition. Each year in the U.S., over 3 million people are admitted to hospitals for emergency surgeries.
Emergency surgeries carry risks that planned or elective surgeries simply don’t. When you are admitted for emergency surgery, the task is completed as quickly as possible, which leaves room for more complications. Plus, emergency surgery is only performed for those with dangerous and life-threatening health conditions.
Of the various emergency surgeries that you could be subject to, below are five that you want to avoid at all costs!
Small Bowel Resection
This surgery involves removing a piece of the small bowel. This surgery typically takes one to four hours to complete and is often performed on patients who are very sick, which increases associated risks. This procedure can be administered for a variety of health conditions, though the most common are bowel obstructions, cancer, tumors in the bowel tract (malignant or benign), or an injury to the small intestine.
This surgery is not inherently dangerous – in fact, many gallbladder removals are performed safely and easily. It is a common procedure. However, this surgery is safest when it’s done as planned, elective surgery for gallbladder issues. A patient with recurring gallbladder pain may choose to have it removed.
However, a patient with a severe gallbladder infection or blockage will need an emergency gallbladder removal, which increases the risk of severe complications.
There are over 200,000 cases of appendicitis each year in the United States. Although appendicitis is common, it doesn’t make it less dangerous. Appendicitis can force the body into sepsis, which leads to severe side effects and eventually death.
This is why emergency appendectomies are useful. An appendectomy is a procedure to remove the appendix from the body. However, these surgeries have a high-risk rate due to the small window of time a patient with appendicitis has before sepsis, among other factors.
A laparotomy is a procedure where surgeons manually open the abdomen, with no other treatment involved. Typically, this procedure is performed to discover an assumed tumor or cancer. It can also be performed to place a feeding tube in a patient that can no longer eat independently.
This surgery has a high mortality rate, likely because it is performed on susceptible individuals who have severe and life-threatening conditions already.
A partial colectomy is a procedure that involves removing a portion of the colon. This emergency surgery can be risky due to the underlying conditions most associated with a partial colectomy. Usually, patients who require an emergency partial colectomy have serious conditions such as diverticulitis, putting them at high risk for complications, infections, and even death.
Emergency surgery is serious. However, modern medicine has allowed doctors to perform required emergency surgeries with a high level of safety and precision. Following your doctor’s suggested treatment plan will result in the best outcome. Hopefully, you never need one of these emergency surgeries!