Separating two human beings at birth? Removing your entire esophagus? Living with a HOLE in your skull?! Here are 7 of the most dangerous medical procedures that can either heal you or kill you.
While there are many different types of medical operations and they all have risks. There are a few select procedures that prove to be EXTREMELY risky. Today we’re not holding back and discussing the Most Dangerous types of procedures to experience as a patient!
7. Separation of Conjoined Twins
Yes, a grueling 9-10 hour procedure that could involve more than 30 different surgeons and specialists like: anesthesiologists, hepatologists, nurses, technicians, and so on simultaneously all working on this crazy operation…. But let’s rewind for a second. You might be wondering what are conjoined twins?
Conjoined twins are identical twins who are joined together in utero. This is an extremely rare phenomenon that occurs only once in every 50,000 to 60,000 births. The two twins could be connected at the skull, the chest, share organs, not share internal organs, to say it gets super complicated when discussing a separation surgery would be the understatement of the year. It is extremely high risk and delicate on the most dangerous surgery scale. Also, the risk and difficulty of the separation surgery depend on where the twins are joined. I mean if the twins are conjoined in an area that cannot be divided evenly, the surgery could result in the death of one or even both twins, and the decision of whether or not even to do the separation surgery is a complicated one. In fact, only 60% of the surgically separated cases survive.
One such life-changing surgery was the story of two twins from Pakistan who were born fused at the head. Their separation process was a 6-month journey where they traveled to London and had to have three major operations and over 100 specialists involved to separate them. One twin had most of the blood vessels going into the head, while the other one had a lot of drainages and they had to develop circulation for themselves. Generally speaking, medical experts out there report that conjoined twins generally have a poor prognosis with the total survival rate at 7.5%, with only 60% of the surgically separated cases surviving, so it's a true medical miracle when these types of surgeries are successful.
From 2008-2011 some stats revealed that the mortality rate for this type of surgery was somewhere around 5.3 percent, but the complication rate was over 42 percent! That’s a very high number so what exactly is a colectomy?
A colectomy is a very involved medical surgery that removes all or part of the colon, aka the large intestine. That is the long, nearly 6-foot tube-like organ that makes up our digestive tract and handles things like dehydrating your food and turning it into the stool.
One of the most common reasons one may have to undergo emergency surgery and have part of their colon removed is an infection that can occur in the small pocket of the intestine, this is called diverticulitis. Sometimes this can be treated with antibiotics but if that infected pouch decides to rupture, surgery is sadly required to remove that part of the colon.
Other reasons you may undergo a colectomy? Volvulus or twisting of the intestine, bowel obstruction, chron disease, ulcerative colities or colon cancer. And in the case of colon cancer or colon resection surgery, where you would remove the cancerous part of the large intestine.
Colectomies are always a very complicated, delicate and serious procedure as there are always the chance for infection, bleeding, blood clots in the legs or deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or blood clots to the lungs and damage to other nearby organs like the bladder and small intestines. And In addition to the removal of the large intestine oftentimes patients will also need other surgical additional procedures to re-attach the areas of the digestive system in order to let waste get out of the body, making this seriously one of the most burdensome surgeries to recover from and difficult procedures for physicans.
5. Bladder Cystectomy
Another Medical procedure with a high risk of complication is Bladder Cystectomy.
Cancer in the bladder is one of the most difficult types of cancers a patient can deal with because it often leads to a bladder cystectomy. There are many different ways surgeons can treat a bladder cystectomy, but open surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and robotic surgery are the three most commonly seen. This procedure involves the partial or complete removal of the bladder in the case of bladder cancer. This procedure leaves patients at a high risk of infection during this surgery, affecting the membrane lining of the abdomen. Therefore, is there the possibility that you might need an alternative way to empty your bladder, and it can also have an impact on your sex life.
This is the procedure used to partially or entirely remove the esophagus aka the tube that transports food from your throat to your stomach. This is usually due to cancer. An oesophagectomy is performed to avoid the disease from spreading to the rest of the stomach or other organs. Because of the nature of the incisions, bleeding, leaking of fluids into the stomach, clots, and infection are the most significant risks. The lungs may also be affected. The size of the incisions is dependent on the severity of the process and how much of the esophagus needs to be removed. The most severe scenario is where the esophagus, a part of the abdomen, and the lymph nodes are removed via incisions in the chest, abdomen, and throat.
The brain is clearly one of our most curial organs for life. It moves our bodies through everyday life. If one thing affects the brain, you can guarantee it’s going to throw something else out of wack too. So craniectomy presents a lot of risks. A craniectomy is especially brutal because it requires that the piece of the skull is removed to access the brain. A fraction of the skull is removed to relieve pressure on the brain. This piece of skull is not replaced immediately after the surgery is complete. Therefore, leaving the fully-recovered patient the risk of brain damage after the surgery if they do not adequately protect their head. Depending on the area of the brain where this procedure will be performed, other serious risks like changes or loss in the functions of vision, mobility, speech, memory, coordination, and more can be permanent. In the past, this type of surgery was usually performed as a last resort, but with the progress of technology, it is utilized more frequently nowadays.
2. Spinal Osteomyelitis Surgery
Infections of the spine are incredibly destructive, and any surgical procedures performed in this area come with a lot of risks, such as complete or partial paralysis, or other serious infections. Spinal osteomyelitis is an infection of the vertebrae, which is a rare but dangerous cause of back pain. Surgery is often the last resort for treating this infection, but sometimes emergency surgery is needed, mainly when sepsis occurs. Diseases of the spine can be hazardous, and operation in the area can be risky and may lead to paralysis or more infection. Antibiotics take care of most spinal infections, so requiring spinal osteomyelitis surgery is unusual.
1. Thoracic Aortic Dissection Repair
Like any form of open-heart surgery, this procedure is difficult and risky because of its delicate nature. An aortic dissection (a split or tear in your body’s main artery) is a life-threatening condition that requires thoracic aortic dissection repair, a risky emergency surgery. This operation is often associated with an increased risk of stroke. A surgeon will remove the dissected aorta and rebuild the blood vessel with a synthetic graft.