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Timing of Surgery

Please note that while surgery for a list of patients is scheduled to start at a particular time, only one patient can be anaesthetised and operated on at a time. This means that your surgery may be hours after the scheduled start time. An estimate of the start time for your procedure may be provided at the pre-anaesthetic assessment.

If the surgeon offers an admission time later than the start time of a list you may only see the anaesthesiologist in the theater waiting area.

If you have a medical condition or want to discuss anything with the anaesthesiologist, please either make contact before the day of surgery or ensure you are admitted to the ward at least one hour before the start of the list.

Complications During Anaesthesia

Anaesthesia is not without risk. Adverse events can occur during any anaesthetic, which can range from trivial to brain damage or death.
These events may occur due to: reactions to anaesthetic drugs, underlying medical diseases, complications with procedures that have to be performed due to surgery. Anaesthetists have been trained to manage these complications which may incur further medical expenses.
If a complication persists for more than 48 hours, please inform your anaesthesiologist or surgeon.

Most the of the complications listed below are often reversible and modern anaesthesia are considered reasonably safe.

Common Complications

(1 to 10% of cases)
Minimal treatment usually

  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Sore Throat
  • Shivering or Feeling Cold
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Pain during injection of drugs
  • Swelling or bruising at the infusion site
  • Temporary Confusion or memory loss (common in elderly)

Rare Complications

(Less than 1 in a 1000 cases)
May require further treatment

  • Injuries to teeth, crowns, lips, tongue and mouth
  • Painful muscles
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Visual disturbances
  • Worsening of underlying medical conditions ie. diabetes, asthma or heart disease
  • Hoarse voice, Vocal cord injuries
  • Pressure related injuries

Very Rare Complications

(1 in 10000 to 1 in 200000 cases)
Often serious with long-term damage

  • Eye injuries
  • Nerve injuries causing paralysis
  • Lung infection
  • Awareness of the operation
  • Bleeding
  • Stroke
  • Allergic reactions/ anaphylaxis
  • Unexpected reaction of anaesthetic drugs
  • Inherited reactions to drugs (Malignant Hyperthermia, Scoline, Apnea, Porphyria)

Brain Damage or Death

(Less than 1 in 250 000 cases)

  • Heart attacks
  • Emboli (Clots)
  • Lack of oxygen

Side effects or interactions of post-operative medication vary and may cause complications above across the spectrum

Complications arising due to procedures that may be performed during your anaesthetic

Procedure

Complication

Intravenous line

Pain, bruising, swelling, bleeding, inflammation, infection, clots, repeated insertions

Central line for monitoring or therapy

Pain, bruising, swelling, bleeding, inflammation, infection, repeated insertions, puncture of lung or artery, clots

Arterial line for specialised monitoring

Pain, bruising, swelling, bleeding, inflammation, infection, repeated insertions, loss of blood flow to the hand leading to death of fingers

Airway management

Damage to lips, teeth, tongue, palate, throat, vocal cords, hoarseness, inhalation of stomach contents (aspiration), pneumonia, obstruction of breathing, failure to maintain the airway requiring an operative procedure.

Nerve blocks, spinal or epidural injection

Back pain, non-resolving headache, nerve damage, paralysis, headache, nausea, vomitting, infection, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, pneumathorax, seizures, drug toxicity.

Operation Healing Hands

Operation Healing Hands is a charity initiative organized by a group of doctors and other medical professional​s in the private sector who, for Mandela Day, wishes to give back to the community. ​