Mr. Dirk van Bavel

Are there any risks to having an operation?

Firstly, I will discuss any risks fully with you at our appointment.

However, all operations have some potential risks. The bigger the operations and the more health problems you have the higher the risk.

These are the most common ( but not all) the potential risks.

Despite these risks most operation have no complications and the patients have a successful outcome!


The anaesthetic is a stress on the body and there is always a very small risk of a heart attack or stroke. If you have no risk factors for these your risk is minimal.


Any time a cut is made in your skin there is a small risk of infection. Your skin is washed with antiseptic solution before the operation and if any metal is being put into your body you will be given antibiotics to try and decrease this risk.

Artificial joints

If you receive an artificial joint please remember that this is not the same as being given a new human joint. The artificial joint is a piece of machinery that will eventually wear out, it can also break , come loose or give you an unstable joint.


In an operation when a cut is made there is the potential for this to cause some pain. This is a necessary part of most operations but our team of; nurses, physiotherapists, the anaethetist and surgeon are all working together to try and minimize your pain. Sometimes however, pain can continue despite what looks to be a well performed operation. This may be due to the formation of scar tissue.


Scar tissue in the joint can cause stiffness after surgery. Normally this will improve over time and with exercise and physiotherapy.

Blood clots

Deep venous thrombosis/Pulmonary embolism (blood clots) can happen to anyone, especially if you are a smoker or on the oral contraceptive pill. After major surgery you will be given medication to thin the blood and decrease this risk. After minor surgery the risk is low so we don’t routinely give prophylaxis against clots. If you get calf pain annd or swelling after an operation this may be a sign of a blood clot. Please contact your Doctor. If you get chest pain and/ or shortness of breath this could be a sign of a blood clot going to your lungs ( Pulmonary embolus) Please seek emergency medical care.

Important structures

The major Nerves and Blood vessels in your leg are near to where we operate. There is always a small chance that these can be damaged in an operation.

Tell a Friend