My Child Is Having Headaches After Surgery. Should I Be Concerned?


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Hearing that your child needs to have surgery is one of the scariest things that a parent can face. Even the most common surgeries performed on children, tonsillectomies and appendectomies, come with a certain element of risk, which is why doctors are required to discuss possible risks and side effects beforehand. Statistically, most pediatric surgeries are successful, and the child goes home healthy, without further incident. What happens though when that isn’t the case for your child? What does it mean when your child has headaches after surgery?

Surgeries require anesthesia to keep your child pain-free during the procedure, and to allow the doctors to complete the surgery without distraction.  As with any medical procedure, there are some general side effects of having anesthesia that your child may experience. Those common side effects include: drowsiness or feeling tired, nausea and vomiting, headache, dizziness, and vision problems. These side effects normally lessen in severity in the hours after surgery and usually go away within 24 hours. But what if they don’t? If your child continues to experience headaches and dizziness, he or she could be suffering from a medical condition called hypoxia, or the more serious anoxia, and additional medical treatment should be sought immediately.

The Dangers Of Hypoxia And Anoxia

Hypoxia happens when there is not enough oxygen getting to the brain. Anoxia occurs when damage is caused to the brain due to that lack of oxygen. Brain damage can begin in as quickly as 4 minutes of the brain not having enough oxygen, and can result in very serious consequences. Both hypoxia and anoxia can occur due to complications of anesthesia, and must be treated as quickly as possible to avoid further medical issues. Untreated hypoxia can result in much more severe symptoms including:

  • seizures
  • coma
  • not breathing
  • brain death

While headaches after surgery may not necessarily be caused by hypoxia, and may not be life-threatening for your child, it is imperative that you monitor your child closely and seek medical attention if headaches or other serious symptoms persist.

What To Do If Your Child Has Headaches After Surgery

If your child, or the child of someone you know, has suffered headaches that resulted from hypoxia or anoxia following surgery, there could be a legitimate medical explanation for it. However, the damage might have happened due to mistakes made during surgery or preventable anesthesia complications. It is difficult to make that distinction, so it is important that you have a medical expert review the incident.

At Ross Feller Casey, we have doctor-lawyers on staff that can assess your situation and make a determination whether or not negligence or malpractice occurred, and if you have a case. The firm works on a contingency basis, so you will not be charged unless there is a financial recovery.

Please contact Ross Feller Casey for your free consultation.

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