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A complication is the unintentional occurrence of an adverse medical condition that requires separate attention. Only a surgeon who does not operate can completely avoid complications.

The risk of surgical complications is increased in those with heart disease, lung disease and the obese. Smokers are at particularly high risk with an:

• increase in cardiac and pulmonary problems (even more than non-smokers with pre-existing heart or lung disease)

• increased flap necrosis • increased wound infection • increased rate of intensive care admissions and length of stay.