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Lightheadedness after Surgery

Lightheadedness after Surgery

Lightheadedness after surgery may occur due to low blood pressure that may result either due to administration of general anesthesia or due to noncompliance of the postoperative self care measures. Scroll down to find out more on what causes lightheadedness post surgery.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
While the term lightheadedness signifies a sensation wherein a person feels that he/she is about to faint, such an individual may not necessarily lose consciousness. Hypotension (low blood pressure), anemia, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), anxiety disorders or ear infections such as vertigo or labyrinthitis, are some of the medical conditions that may cause lightheadedness. Sometimes, people who have recently undergone a surgery may also experience dizzy spells post surgery. The type of surgical procedure, the overall health of the patient and various other factors need to be considered while determining why a person who has been recently operated upon, may feel lightheaded. Here's some information that may help you understand the possible causes of lightheadedness after surgery.
Why Do People Feel Lightheaded after Undergoing a Surgery?
Most of the doctors recommend surgery only when the other conservative treatment options have not really provided the desired results. Complicated surgical procedures that are used for the treatment of serious medical conditions are more likely to cause serious after effects post surgery. Be it an open surgery or a minimally invasive surgical procedure, one cannot ignore the risks or complications that may arise post surgery. Given below is some information that will explain what causes lightheadedness post surgery.
Anesthesia: Most of the after effects of the surgery may just be associated with the administration of anesthesia during the surgical procedure. General anesthesia, which is administered in complicated surgeries, induces a state of unconsciousness, which enables the doctors to perform complex surgical procedures. Usually, the effects of anesthetic agent wears off, once these drugs are processed in the liver and kidneys, and removed from the system in the form of urine. If, however, the anesthetic agent has not been completely flushed out, one may complain about feeling lightheaded after surgery.
Low Blood Pressure: Low blood pressure after surgery is another anesthesia related complication. The administration of anesthesia causes dilation of blood vessels, which in turn, leads to a drop in the blood pressure levels. Once the anesthetic agent is flushed out, the blood pressure levels come back to normal. If the residues of the anesthetic agent are still present in the body, one is most likely to feel groggy or lightheaded. Use of narcotic painkillers, sedatives or certain prescription drugs after surgery could also lead to lowering of blood pressure. Special care must therefore be taken for those who are experiencing fluctuations in the blood pressure.
Poor Blood Circulation: Every person who has undergone a complicated surgery, needs to take ample rest. Though this is essential for promoting faster healing, immobilization for long stretches of time after surgery, could affect the blood circulation. During periods of rest, the pressure exerted by blood on the walls of the blood vessels is low. One must therefore take care before resuming the normal activities. In case of a healthy individual, oxygen rich blood is sent over to the brain, when one gets up after sitting or lying down for a while. When a person who has been bedridden after the surgery, takes the first few steps or gets up suddenly, blood may not reach the brain immediately. The limited flow of oxygenated blood to the brain would give rise to lightheadedness when standing. The decrease in blood pressure that one experiences on standing up after sitting or lying down for prolonged periods of time is medically referred to as orthostatic hypotension.
Type of Surgery: The health of the patient prior to the surgery, along with the risks related to that particular surgery, also need to be looked into while evaluating the reasons for lightheadedness post surgery. While some people may respond well to the surgery, some may take more time to heal. There is a greater likelihood of one suffering from lightheadedness after heart surgery, gastric bypass surgery, hysterectomy and other complicated surgeries that are performed under the administration of general anesthesia. The more complicated the surgery is, the more careful should one be during the recovery period. One must comply with the guidelines given by the doctors regarding the diet and resume with the routine activities as per the advice of the doctors.
This was some information on why one may feel lightheaded after undergoing a surgical procedure. Those who have undergone a surgery recently, must adhere to the guidelines given by the doctors and go for the scheduled follow-up visits. Recurring dizzy spells post surgery may be indicative of low blood pressure, so if you have been feeling lightheaded post surgery, seek medical assistance immediately. Give your body time to heal, and don't indulge in strenuous physical activities. It's extremely important to prepare your body before you resume the regular activities.