Post-operative complications

Complications can occur after any operation and prolong the period of hospitalisation.


Complications can occur after any operation and prolong the period of hospitalisation. Possible complications include wound healing disorders, infections and nerve injuries. They can mostly be prevented and respond well to treatment.


Possible complications

  • Bruising around the wound (haematoma), secondary bleeding of the operation wound
  • Wound infection
  • Wound healing disorder, stitches come undone
  • Unwelcome scars, adhesions (e.g. scar tissue with underlying muscles)
  • Nerve injuries
  • Joint stiffness, muscle wastage
  • Formation of blood clots (thrombosis, lung embolism)
  • Nausea (in particular after general anaesthesia)
  • Constipation/diarrhoea
  • Other operation-specific complications (will be explained by the doctor/surgeon)

Causes and treatment


An operation always puts a strain on the human body. The anaesthesia, incisions and subsequent healing process require energy and time. Our bodies react differently to operations; age, nutrition and prior illnesses all play a role.

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Observation in hospital (circulatory system, nutrition, general condition)
  • Observation of operation wound
Possible therapies
  • Physiotherapy to treat stiff joints and muscle wastage
  • Temporarily reducing the clotting ability of the blood to prevent the formation of blood clots (blood thinning, anticoagulation)
  • Second operation, if necessary

What can I do myself?

  • Avoid smoking too much and drinking too much alcohol before the operation
  • Take any medication needed prior to the operation exactly as instructed by the anaesthetist
  • Take care of yourself and treat the operation wound with care

When to see a doctor?

  • Suspected symptoms of one of the listed complications
  • In particular if the operation wound becomes red, painful and/or forms pus
  • High fever

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.