Any time you are to undergo anesthesia and surgery there is the possibility even though it is remote of experiencing a complication. This is a fact of like we all have to consider when we decide to undergo any surgical procedure. In the old days of surgery and anesthesia only 30 to 40 years ago this was a common occurrence.
Perioperative risk is dependent on many factors and is related to anesthesia, the patient and surgical factors. In terms of anesthesia the choice of the anesthetic used and the provider are important. The surgeon’s skills and the procedures also influence the postoperative picture. Another factor to consider is the type of care a patient may be given especially if they do have a complication. Recently studies show that local quality-improvement efforts yield significant improvement in post surgical outcomes. The picture as you can see is complicated.
Whatever the picture, it appears to be improving with time. For example, in 1961 a study published by Dripps et al demonstrated that one in every 852 cases suffered a mortality. That number is very worrisome for anyone in 1961 undergoing surgery. Fortunately by 1987 the mortality had improved significantly to 1 in 185,056 cases. This a much more appealing risk and less tinged by gloom. These improvements are due to the work of creative and dedicated anesthesiologists and surgeons over the last 40 years.