Definitions

Complication (medicine)

Complication (medicine)

Complication, in medicine, is an unfavorable evolution of a disease, a health condition or a medical treatment. The disease can become worse in its severity or show a higher number of signs, symptoms or new pathological changes, become widespread throughout the body or affect other organ systems. A medical treatment, such as drugs or surgery may produce adverse effects and/or produce new health problem(s) by itself. A new disease may also appear as a complication to a previous existing disease. Therefore, a complication may be iatrogenic, i.e., literally brought forth by the physician.

Medical knowledge about a disease, procedure or treatment usually entails a list of the most common complications, so that they can be foreseen, prevented or recognized more easily and speedily.

Depending on the degree of vulnerability, susceptibility, age, health status, immune system condition, etc. complications may arise more easily. Complications affect adversely the prognosis of a disease. Non-invasive and minimally invasive medical procedures usually favor fewer complications in comparison to invasive ones.

Examples of complications

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