Post-Operative Complications

Second Edition

David Leaper, Iain Whitaker

Post-Operative Complications

Second Edition

David Leaper, Iain Whitaker






21 Jan 2010


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Oxford Specialist Handbooks

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Complications following surgical procedures are not only associated with significant morbidity and mortality, but also add immensely to the psychological burden of the patient and are disappointing for the surgical team. Recent research has led to a greater understanding of the response to surgery and anaesthesia, and great advances have been made in pre-operative preparation with appropriate investigations and pharmacological prophylaxis. These have reduced the incidence of many complications, but the risks are impossible to remove completely.

This wide-reaching and practical handbook covers all aspects of post-surgical complications. It is divided into two sections: the first covers general complications such as pressure sores, complications of fluid balance and problems related to anaesthesia, while the second focuses on the complications encountered in the major surgical specialties. Fully revised and updated since the previous edition, and written by a team of experts, Post-operative Complications is essential reading for all those involved in caring for surgical patients. It is particularly relevant for junior doctors and those preparing for their membership of the Royal College of Surgery (MRCS) exams.


General Complications
1: Post-operative pain
2: Infection
3: Cardiovascular complications after surgery in general
4: Complications related to fluid and electrolyte management in surgical patients
5: Complications of nutrition
6: Complications of blood transfusion and coagulation
7: Pressure sores
8: Complications related to use of medicines in surgery
9: Neurological complications after surgery
Complications after specific types of surgery
10: Complications of gastrointestinal surgery
11: Complications of peripheral vascular surgery
12: Complications of cardiothoracic surgery
13: Complications of abdominal transplant surgery
14: Complications of thoracic outlet decompression and thoracoscopic sympathectomy
15: Complications of vascular interventional radiology
16: Complications of varicose vein surgery
17: Complications of orthopaedic surgery
18: Complications of amputation
19: Complications of urological surgery
20: Complications of ENT and head and neck surgery
21: Complications after breast surgery
22: Complications of plastic surgery
23: Complications of hand surgery
24: Consent and other medicolegal issues


Edited by David Leaper , Visiting Professor, Department of Wound Healing, Cardiff University, UK

Iain Whitaker , Specialist Registrar in Plastic, Reconstructive and Burns Surgery, Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery, Swansea, UK

David Leaper qualified from Leeds Medical School in 1970, before training in general surgery. He has the Fellowship in Surgery of the Royal Colleges of Edinburgh (1974), England (1975) and Glasgow (1999) and gained the CCST in 1980. He has two higher degrees by thesis; MD (1979) and ChM (1982) and was awarded the Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons in 1998. He was appointed Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Bristol (1981-1995) with Honorary Consultant status at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Southmead Hospital in Bristol. He was Professor of Surgery at the University of Hong Kong (1988-1990) and at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (1995-2004), and is now Emeritus Professor, with Visiting Chair status, at Cardiff University, where he works in the Wound Healing Research Unit. He has published over 10 books, 50 chapters and 200 original research and review papers. Iain Whitaker read medicine at Trinity Hall College, University of Cambridge, where he also obtained the degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts. He completed his sub internship in plastic surgery at Harvard Medical School, USA, followed by his surgical house officer post at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. After serving as an anatomy demonstrator at the University of Cambridge, he completed his general surgery training in the Yorkshire School of Surgery, and subsequently became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons. During his specialist training he has spent time overseas in both clinical and research activities in Uppsala (Sweden), Louisville and Connecticut (USA). Iain has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, several book chapters and books and has won academic awards from Cambridge University, the Royal College of Surgeons, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and Commercial Bodies.