Systemic Effects

Although surgery is a local treatment, its effects can be systemic. For example, removal of endocrine and sexual glands in the course of cancer surgery can leave patients hypothyroid, diabetic, osteopenic, or menopausal. Removal of, or damage to, the sexual organs can render younger patients infertile, and so maneuvers such as sperm banking and embryo freezing must be anticipated and offered prior to surgery. Splenectomy may put patients at risk of overwhelming sepsis from encapsulated organs, making it important to recognize this situation and ensure that vaccinations have been optimized.

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