Discomforts and Complications After a Child Has Surgery
What are common discomforts after surgery?
The amount of discomfort after surgery depends on the type of surgery done. Some typical
Nausea and vomiting from general anesthesia
Soreness in the throat. This can happen if the child had a breathing tube in place
for a ventilator during the surgery. A ventilator helps with breathing.
Soreness and swelling around the incision site
Pain. As the anesthesia wears off, the child can experience mild to severe discomfort
from the surgery.
Restlessness and sleeplessness
Constipation and gas
What are possible complications after surgery?
Sometimes complications can occur after surgery. Here are some possible complications:
Shock. Shock is a dangerous drop in blood flow throughout the body. Shock most often appears
as low blood pressure.
Bleeding. Blood loss from the site of surgery can lead to shock.
Wound infection. An infection can happen when bacteria enter the incision site. Infections can delay
Lung problems. A lack of deep breathing during and after surgery can lead to lung problems. Your
child's healthcare provider may recommend deep-breathing exercises to help keep the
lungs healthy after surgery.
Other infections. Infections can occur in areas other than where the surgery occurred. This can include
infections of the urinary tract and lungs.
Urinary problems. Your child may not be able to empty their bladder after surgery. This is caused by
the anesthesia. This problem usually goes away soon after surgery.
Reaction to anesthesia. Although rare, reactions to anesthesia do occur.
How are discomforts and complications after surgery treated?
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also
depend on how severe the condition is.
How likely complications happen varies with each child and with each surgery. Ask
your child's healthcare provider if you need more information.