low-blood-pressure-after-surgery

Low Blood Pressure after Surgery

Low blood pressure after surgery is nor rare. Every surgery has the possibility of certain risks regardless of whether it’s routine procedure or not. One of those risks is a change in blood pressure.

According to American Heart Association, an ideal blood pressure would be lower than 120/80 mm Hg.

The top number (120) is referred to as Systolic Pressure, and is the amount of pressure you feel when your heart is pumping the blood. The bottom number (80) is known as diastolic pressure. It is used to measure the pressure when your heart rests between beats.

Any reading of less than 90/60 mmHg is considered to be as low blood pressure. However, the results may differ based on the person’s condition and the situation.

Low Blood Pressure After Surgery Causes

The blood pressure can decrease after or during surgery due to a variety of reasons. Causes of low blood pressure after surgery are the following

Anesthesia

Anesthetics employed to help you go to sleep during surgery, may influence the blood pressure. The changes could occur when you’re asleep as well as when you’re coming off of the anesthetic medication.

For some, anesthesia can cause a dramatic decrease of blood pressure. In this case, your doctor will carefully monitor you and administer medications through an IV that will help to restore your blood pressure to normal. This is vital to recover from low blood pressure after surgery. Otherwise life threatening complications may arise. Urgent medical evaluation and appropriate treatment to raise the blood pressure is essential. Low blood pressure after surgery needs to be monitored.

 Hypovolemic shock

Hypovolemic Shock is when the body experiences shock as a result of severe blood loss or fluid loss.

A large loss of blood, which may occur during surgery, results in decrease of blood pressure. A lower blood volume means that the body isn’t able to move the blood as efficiently to the organs and the organs get less amount of blood. Less amount of blood means less amount of oxygen. So the organs get less oxygen, though the demands for oxygen is high. As a result, hypovolemic shock develops. Due to this, low blood pressure after surgery can occur.

 As shock can be a life-threatening condition, it is treated in a hospital. It is an emergency situation, so needs urgent care. The goal of treatment is to bring back the blood and fluids within your body, before any damage occurs to your vital organs (especially the kidneys, and the the heart). Timely appropriate management can save the life.

  Septic shock

Sepsis is a serious result of an infection that is fungal, bacterial, virus infection. It can cause the walls of small blood vessels to leak fluids into the surrounding tissues. As a result, blood volume decreases within vessels, so blood pressure falls.

Sepsis has serious complications, one of that complication is septic shock and one of its sign is a severely low blood pressure.

The risk of contracting these infections is higher while in the hospital and recovering from surgery. Sepsis can be treated at hospitals by administering antibiotics, additional fluids and monitoring.

Depending upon the cause of infection (whether bacterial, fungal or viral infection), appropriate antibiotics are given.

To treat low blood pressure, vasopressors can be given, which are medications that treat low blood pressure. They help to tighten blood vessels and increase blood pressure.

Low Blood Pressure After Surgery Home Treatment

If you’re still suffering from low blood pressure once you get home, here are some suggestions you can try to decrease symptoms:

Slowly stand up

Take time to move around and stretch before standing. This will assist in getting blood flowing throughout your body.

Beware of alcohol and caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine, both can cause dehydration. Dehydration leads to low blood pressure. So try to avoid consumption of alcohol and caffeine.

Though it is seen that after consumption of coffee, blood pressure increases dramatically for a short period of time. But it is not a recommended way to increase blood pressure, especially when you are getting low blood pressure after surgery. Impact of dehydration on pressure is much more. So, try to avoid coffee.

Take small, frequent meal

Some people experience low blood pressure after eating. Eating smaller meals can aid in reducing your risk.

Take more water

Staying hydrated helps to prevent low blood pressure problems. So, drink adequate water if you do not have other medical issues that need restriction of fluid intake (such as kidney disease).

Consume additional salt

Doctor could suggest increasing your salt intake by adding more salt to your food or taking tablets of salt if your levels are not as good. Do not start adding salt before consulting with your doctor first. This kind of treatment must be carried out with the guidance of your doctor.

Do you need to be concerned for low blood pressure after surgery?

Blood pressure levels that are low could lead to injury to vital organs like your heart or brain due to insufficient oxygen supply.

Low blood pressure after surgery are more likely to occur when you’re in the hospital for an emergency such as after blood loss, or a heart attack.

In most of the time, low blood pressure does not need treatment.

But there is always a side of caution. If you’re worried about the ongoing low blood pressure, visit your physician, particularly when you’re experiencing symptoms, for example:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dehydration
  • Cold clammy skin
  • Fainting

Your doctor can identify if there’s a different health issue that’s causing concern. Your doctor will also guide you if you need to alter or supplement your medication, especially for low blood pressure after surgery. Never hesitate to consult with your doctor. Stay healthy and happy.

Sources

  1. Goldman-Cecil Medicine
  2. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine 20th edition
  3. Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine 23rd edition
  4. Burket’s Oral Medicine
  5. Peterson’s Principles of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
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