Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

8 Common Surgery Complications

What to do to reduce your risk of these post-surgery complications.

3. Blood Clots

Clots most often occur following orthopedic procedures, but they can occur in any patient, Kroh says. Smokers, morbidly obese people, and immobile patients are most at risk for clots, which usually form in the legs.

However, those clots can migrate to the lungs, where they can cause a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism.

Warning signs include swelling in the affected leg and calf pain. Shortness of breath and chest pain may be signs that the clot has moved to the lungs.

4. Fatigue and Lack of Energy

This is something that patients often underestimate, Kroh says. “Some patients expect that they can be discharged and get right back to work. But general anesthesia causes fatigue that can last for some time, and energy levels will also take time to get back to normal.”

Kroh tells his patients that they likely won’t be able to work a full day for at least a week following surgery. “It’s 2 to 3 days before they are even feeling 70%.”

5. Muscle Atrophy

Too much bed rest combined with too little exercise can weaken your muscles. That’s why surgeons like Kroh encourage patients to get out of bed and onto their feet as soon as possible after surgery.

“It’s very important to get up and move around,” Kroh says. That doesn’t mean go to the gym, though, even if you feel up to it (you probably won’t).

“You have to avoid lifting and straining to allow yourself to heal,” Kroh says.

People who have had abdominal surgery need to be extra cautious. Kroh advises against lifting anything over 15 pounds for at least two weeks after laparoscopic surgery, and six weeks after more invasive procedures.

Your surgeon might recommend working with a physical therapist to ease you back into everyday activities.

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing