Late Postoperative Complications

James M. Clark, MD, Elizabeth A. David, MD, MAS

Key Points

  • Late postoperative complications are fortunately uncommon after thoracic surgical procedures; however, their rarity makes them even more important to understand.
  • Meticulous surgical technique at the time of the original operation is the best way to avoid late postoperative complications, but not all are avoidable.
  • Chronic pain is the most common late complication of thoracic surgical procedures and a multi-modality approach is key to proper management.

Postoperative complications are sometimes unavoidable but are best avoided by careful patient selection and meticulous attention to surgical technique.

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Last updated: May 13, 2020