The Risk of Having a Peri-operative Heart Attack – Part 1
When patients are being scheduled for surgery, the universal question asked is, “What are the risks and complications of the surgery?” High on the list of possibilities quoted to patients is the risk of having a heart attack (also known as a myocardial infarction or MI) during or after the surgery.
Simply put, the risk of having a perioperative Mi is the sum of the risks from the surgical stress of the operation
and patient’s basic underlying medical condition. Not all surgical procedures have the same surgical stress. The most stressful elective surgical procedure is considered to be aortic surgery. A sampling of the surgical stress of some other procedures in decreasing order is as follows: intrathoracic procedures (surgery inside the chest cavity); orthopedic procedures (surgery on the bones or joints); vascular procedures on the lower legs (i.e., femoral-popliteal bypass); head and neck procedures; surgery on the carotid artery; and bladder cystoscopy and TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate).
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