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Open Heart Surgery Complications

Major Open Heart Surgery Complications

There are also a number of possible major complications that can occur with open heart surgery. Although these are uncommon, your overall health will play a role in your likelihood of developing complications and how well you recover from them. For example, patients with severe heart disease, diabetes, or lung or kidney disease may have a higher chance of having complications from open heart surgery than those who are healthier.
The most common and/or serious open heart surgery complications include:
Other major complications include, but are not limited to:
  • Heart or lung problems, including irregular heart rhythms, pneumonia, and lung or heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Allergic reaction to medication
  • Nerve or organ damage
  • Transmission of disease from blood products
  • Other rare and unlikely events.

Summary of Open Heart Surgery Complications

Depending on the individual situation, a major open heart surgery complication may lead to a longer hospital stay, a blood transfusion, a repeat surgery, or dialysis. In infrequent cases, major complications can lead to permanent disability and even loss of life.
On average, loss of life occurs in 3 out of 100 procedures. Because of your individual situation, your risk for major complications may be higher or lower; therefore, it is important that you discuss your risk with your doctor.
It may be that in your doctor's practice, few of these open heart surgery complications have happened. However, it is important for you to know and understand the potential complications, so that you are fully informed before your procedure.
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