Lamont et al listed a number of clinical findings which may be indicative of a complication following laparoscopic surgery. These same findings may apply to non-laparoscopic procedures as well. The atuhros are from the National Patient Safety Agency in England.


Clinical findings that may indicate the presence of a complication:

(1) persistent or increasing abdominal pain

(2) abdominal tenderness or distention

(3) nausea and/or poor appetite

(4) unable or reluctant to ambulate

(5) fever, persistent pyrexia or rigors

(6) tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia

(7) poor or no urine output

(8) blood or bile-stained fluid from a surgical drain

(9) persistent elevation of inflammatory markers (ESR, CRP, etc)

(10) continued or increasing pain, requiring continued opioid therapy or other pain medication



• Additional items can be added, such as failure to recover as expected, lack of bowel movement, signs of deep vein thrombosis or bleeding.


The patient should be evaluated if one or more of these findings are present.


Some of these features may not be observed until after the patient has been discharged. This underlies the need to educate the patient and family when to contact the physician and the need to perform careful followup after discharge.


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