When surgery is defined as the cutting of body parts to correct medical problems, there are always going to be certain associated risks.
The most obvious and common risk associated with a surgical procedure is infection. Because the skin is opened during surgery, bacteria or viruses can find easy access to the internal parts of the body, which is what happens during an infection.
These infections happen even though the surgical team takes great care to prevent such an occurrence, because some bacteria and viruses quite often float in the air, which can then land directly on an open wound or on the hands or instruments used in the procedure.
Also, there are times when surgical instrument cleansing isn’t one hundred percent effective. There are also occasions where members of the surgical team inadvertently come into contact with bacteria or viruses immediately prior to performing a procedure.
Regardless of how a person is infected, the results can vary from mild irritation to lingering problems, to amputations or even death of the patient. It all depends on the type of infection and the local of the infected area.
Another risk associated with any surgical procedure is where the surgeon or another member of a surgical team makes a mistake and something bad happens to the patient. The risk of such an occurrence is far smaller than that for an infection, but it does happen.
Patients are misdiagnosed or mislabeled and wind up with the wrong medications or the wrong procedure being performed on them. They have the wrong limbs amputated or have to undergo repeat procedures to fix mistakes made by surgeons when cutting, or have things removed such as cotton swabs that were accidently left inside the patient.
Patients can be given the wrong information regarding care after a procedure and end up hurting themselves. In the worst case scenario, a surgeon can make a serious mistake and wind up having a patient die on the table.
A final risk involved in any surgery is that something unexpected can happen. For example, doctors may be unaware of a preexisting medical condition that affects the outcome of a surgical procedure, or there might be an unknown abnormality or birth defect that can also affect the outcome of a procedure in negative ways.
NOTE: Because anesthesia is not always used in a surgical procedure, the risks of its use are not discussed here, though negative effects from its use are far more common than any other risk factor except infection.