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Surgery Patients May Be the Most Vulnerable After Discharge



Surgery does not necessarily mean freedom from ailments, in fact, in certain cases; it may give rise to post-surgical complications. A study conducted by experts has found that 40 percent of complications after the surgery arise after patients have been discharged. Almost 75 percent of the complications have been found to occur within the first two weeks of discharge. The findings do raise uncomfortable questions on the surgical procedures and methodologies followed. Experts also have raised doubts on how well patients are able to follow instructions, given after discharge from the hospital.

Disconcerting facts

According to a study, conducted by experts at Stanford University at Palo Alto in California, more than 16 percent of general surgery patients experience complications after discharge from the hospital. The study observes that more than 41 percent of the patients experience complications after getting discharged. The observations have been based on the data, obtained from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program at the American College of Surgeons.

The data were obtained between periods 2005 through 2012. The researchers, based on the conclusions, have stressed on the need for better surgical procedures and methodologies and better patient education and awareness. According to the experts, more research needs to be done on post-surgery rehab.

Post-discharge complications can often be expensive

Patients who suffer from post-discharge complications often have to bear the expenses of treatment and may even require hospitalization again. According to the research, this is not only harassing but can be draining financially for a lot of people. Better management of post-surgery rehab can prevent a lot of hassles and expenses. In fact, the researchers have found that post-discharge complications can often cost more than the preceding surgery. If the procedures and instructions are not managed well, it can lead to fatal consequences sometimes.

Inpatient surgery needs to improve

Obviously, the way surgeries are conducted now will receive a lot of flak and they need to improve. According to the study, detailed and quality research needs to go into improving follow-up procedures for patients after surgery. Such research, according to the researchers, will also enable patients to save a lot of money.

According to Desmond C. Winter of St. Vincent’s University Hospital of Dublin in Ireland, “Patient needs, not financial penalties, should be everyone’s primary focus. Let us see further advancements in surgical care through research funded by the proposed insurer savings and together strive for safer surgery”.

While uncomfortable issues are being raised about the quality of surgeries, the issue of proper rehab at home, after surgery cannot be overlooked. In fact, complications can also arise if the instructions are not properly followed at home by patients, in spite of a successful and quality procedure. This is why doctors need to, depending on the patient’s age, ailments, procedures and other factors need to devise an intelligent follow-up and review program after the patient is discharged from the hospital. Patient awareness, no doubt, is one of the most important factors that lead to successful surgery.