Surgery

Is obesity a reason to avoid joint replacement surgery?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Overweight people are often turned down for joint replacement surgery, or told to lose a lot of weight first. But a new study found that having obesity should not be a deterrent to having joint surgery.

Safer surgery: Steps you can take

Millions of Americans have elective surgeries like knee or hip replacements. When choosing a surgeon or procedure, follow these steps to make surgery safer.

How long does a joint replacement last?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A person considering a knee or hip replacement needs to weigh how long the new joint will last as part of the decision-making process. Analyses of hundreds of thousands of hip and knee replacements show encouraging results for those facing this decision.

Thinking about rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is the most common facial plastic surgery procedure. While often done to improve trouble breathing, many people choose to have this surgery for cosmetic reasons. Some have both goals met in one surgery.

Managing pain after surgery

Even with all the attention given to the opioid epidemic, it may still be a surprise to some people that prescription pain medication is not always necessary after a surgical procedure. Talking with your doctor about post-surgical pain management will help you understand what to expect.

Surgery for appendicitis? Antibiotics alone may be enough

While appendectomy is a very common surgery, there is evidence that treating appendicitis with antibiotics instead of surgery is an effective alternative.

How long will my hip or knee replacement last?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Anyone who needs a knee or hip replacement wants to know if it will be permanent, or if the replacement will need to be replaced at some point. While this is impossible to predict, and many factors affect longevity of replacement joints, data from past surgeries can help give some idea of what a person can expect.

Does your child need a tonsillectomy?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

While tonsillectomies are still common, the number performed has decreased significantly over the past half-century due to the likelihood of complications after surgery. But there are situations when a tonsillectomy is definitely necessary, so it’s important to consider the risks and benefits before making the decision.

Taking an anticlotting drug? If you need a procedure, be prepared

People who take an anticlotting medication are at higher risk of bleeding if they need an invasive procedure, but stopping the drug ahead of a procedure carries its own risks.

Too many pain pills after surgery: When good intentions go awry

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

The opioid epidemic has had a devastating effect on lives. There are many factors behind this crisis, some of which may be surprising. A reasonable and well-intentioned effort to reduce and relieve pain can inadvertently lead to a potentially life-threatening addiction, but there are some surprisingly simple ways to avoid such scenarios.