Most people would want to avoid having surgery unless it were absolutely necessary. After all, going under the knife is a risky business. Even the simplest procedures carry a risk of infection or heavy blood loss. But what are the riskiest surgeries? Below we list a few examples:
Open Heart Surgery
Open heart surgery carries a substantial risk due to the fact that the patient’s chest is opened during the procedure. The surgeon will typically make an incision down the chest wall to gain access to the heart. With the chest open, the patient is at risk of infection while there is also a risk of a stroke or heart attack. Other possible complications can include lung or kidney failure, breathing difficulties, and blood clots.
A craniotomy is typically carried out to remove a tumor from the brain or to repair a brain aneurysm. Brain surgery usually involves a piece of the skull being removed to allow the surgeon to access the brain. This type of procedure is extremely risky, particularly because of the damage that can be caused should the surgeon make a mistake. Brain surgery complications include swelling of the brain, hemorrhage, blood clots, damage to specific areas of the brain, seizure, and infection. During recovery, there is also a risk of stroke.
A gastric bypass surgery is designed to help obese patients lose weight by changing the way that the stomach connects to the small intestine to allow food to bypass the stomach. Patients who have had such a surgery will feel fuller quicker and will not absorb as many calories as before. For those who have struggled to lose weight in the past and who are suffering with health problems because of their size, this type of surgery might sound the perfect solution. But it is not without its risks. In fact, complications include blood clots, infection, and internal bleeding. There is also a risk that the anastomosis (new connections in the intestine) could leak. This is a profoundly serious complication.
Organ transplant surgery is carried out when a patient’s own organ (such as heart, kidney, lung, or liver) has failed, and the patient would die without intervention. Using a healthy organ taken from a brain-dead organ donor and transplanting it into another individual could save that person’s life. However, transplant surgery is extremely risky. Even though patients getting the new organ will be given medication to reduce the risk of organ rejection, it is still a very real possibility, nonetheless. In addition to this, there is the usual risk of complications with any surgery, such as heavy blood loss and infection.
As already mentioned a couple of times already, surgery carries many risks. Nevertheless, in most cases, the above procedures are only ever carried out when absolutely necessary and to save the life of the patient. The one exception is the gastric bypass, which may for some people be classed as an elective surgery. That being said, there might be a case for this type of procedure being classed as a medical necessity, especially if the patient has tried all other methods of weight loss without success.
According to FindACode.com, here in the U.S., insurance companies will cover the cost of expensive surgeries that are deemed medically necessary but may not always cover elective surgeries. They recommend checking with your insurance provider to see what is covered. They also say that checking for the correct ICD 10 codes before making a claim will help prevent any delays or denials.