The Dangerous Side Of
Surgery Asthma

Surgery asthma can be dangerous for certain individuals. During surgery, there are certain factors that can trigger an attack and cause a cascade of problems.

Asthma is a respiratory condition in which the lungs are hypersensitive to certain allergens. In response to these substances, the lung airways constrict and produce extra mucus to protect the body. Although it is a natural part of the immune system, it can be deadly during surgery.


Surgery Can Aggravate Asthma Symptoms

If you have asthma and plan on having surgery, then you should be aware of the danger that is involved. Besides the usual risks, asthma sufferers also have the possibility of breathing difficulties during or after a procedure.

During surgery, general anesthesia is often included to avoid pain. When general anesthesia is needed, a respirator provides mechanical breathing. It ensures that a person keeps breathing and air continues to go into the body. However in those who have this disease, the tube connected to the respirator in the windpipe can cause complications.

The Risk Factor For Surgery Asthma Depends On The Individual

Complications will vary depending on what kind of surgery takes place. The riskiest procedures for moderate and severe asthmatics are those that involve the chest or the upper abdomen.

Complications that may occur during and after surgery include:

  • Bronchoconstriction – Bronchoconstriction, which is tightening of the lung airways, can take place before or after the surgical procedure. It is the sudden airway narrowing triggered by placement of a breathing tube (endotracheal tube) into the airway before surgery. The end result is the lungs are filled with thickened mucous that blocks the airway. Intravenous asthma medications are usually required to relax and open airways.
  • Hypoxemia or hypercapnia - Low blood oxygen levels (hypoxemia) and an increased blood level of carbon dioxide (hypercapnia) are common when the lungs are in jeopardy. During an asthma attack, the thick mucus in the lungs blocks the airways and decreases oxygen level to the rest of the body. During surgery, the right asthma medication can quickly relieve this condition.
  • Respiratory infection - Respiratory infection is always a risk during surgery. With asthmatics, this can lead to pneumonia. This can usually be avoided or treated with a round of antibiotics. Although not every person with asthma needs antibiotics, it can prevent further complications.
  • Atelectasis – After surgery many asthmatics have the decreased ability to cough effectively. In other words, they can’t cough hard enough to clear the buildup mucus from their lungs. The end result is wheezing and endless nonproductive coughing. Eventually this will lead to shortness of breath. This can be prevented with an incentive spirometer. After surgery, this small device is blown into on a regular basis to open up the airways of the lungs and let air in.

Sometimes alternatives to general anesthesia, whether it is local or spinal, should be considered in order to avoid any complications. Individuals with moderate to severe asthma are at higher risk of having problems during and after surgery. If you have asthma, then you should be evaluated for risk factors.

The Proper Precautions Can Prevent Complications

Proper asthma management before, during, and after surgery can greatly decrease the possibility of a bad reaction. Depending of the severity of symptoms, you may need to take precautions to prevent complications. But with the right treatment plan, you can undergo any surgical procedure without difficulties.

Feature Article:

How To Manage Surgery Asthma To Safeguard Your Recovery


More Information
On The Safest Asthma Treatments


Don’t Let Surgery Asthma Affect Your Recovery

The Dangerous Side Of Surgery Asthma

Surgery Asthma: When Should Surgery Be Postponed?

Surgery Asthma: Pre-Surgical Care That Will You Out Of Trouble

Surgery Asthma: Post-Surgical Treatments That Will Keep You Healthy


Most people find fewer problems with breathing problems when they find an asthma management plan that really works. Read The SAFE Asthma Treatment Guide and discover the four steps to controlling asthma.  With a little help from your doctor and the right plan of action, you can control your wheezing and coughing so that you can breathe easier.

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