If you have moderate to severe
asthma, you are at higher risk of having problems
during and after surgery than people who do not have asthma. Careful asthma
control in the weeks before surgery may help you reduce the risk of having
complications. Some people with severe asthma may need a short treatment with
corticosteroids by mouth to improve lung function
before surgery and prevent complications.1
Complications that may occur during and after surgery include:
Sudden airway narrowing triggered by placement of
a breathing tube (endotracheal tube) into the airway before
Low blood oxygen levels (hypoxemia) and possibly an
increased blood level of carbon dioxide (hypercapnia).
ability to cough effectively.
Respiratory infection and collapse of
the lung (atelectasis).
National Institutes of Health (2007). National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (NIH Publication No. 08–5846). Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/asthma/index.htm.