Intraoperative Hypertension

What is Intraoperative Hypertension?

Intraoperative hypertension is a condition where high blood pressure occurs during surgery. This high blood pressure can cause harm to the patient during and after the surgery. It can arise from both medical and non-medical causes and sometimes even from the effects of anesthesia. This can be very dangerous for patients who already suffer from hypertension.

Signs and Symptoms of Intraoperative Hypertension

The signs and symptoms of intraoperative hypertension depend upon the severity of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms are:
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased breathing rate, or dyspnea
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache

Causes of Intraoperative Hypertension

Intraoperative hypertension may be caused by several factors, including:
  • Stress and anxiety of the procedure
  • Pain arising due to the surgery
  • Anesthetic agents
  • Dehydration
  • Medications given during surgery such as epinephrine and vasopressin
  • Medical condition such as hyperthyroidism

Treatment of Intraoperative Hypertension

The treatment of intraoperative hypertension depends upon its cause. If the cause is due to medications, the medication should be stopped and replaced with another one. If the cause is due to stress and anxiety, the patient should be given sedatives and anxiety-reducing medications. If the cause is due to dehydration, intravenous fluids should be administered. In some cases, the doctor may also prescribe medications such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers. These medications help to reduce the blood pressure, thereby preventing further damage to the patient’s organs.

Prevention of Intraoperative Hypertension

Prevention is the best way to avoid the risks associated with intraoperative hypertension. The following steps may help to reduce the chances of developing the condition:
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, healthy diet and stress management.
  • Quitting smoking, if applicable.
  • Avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption.
  • If anesthetics are needed, the patient should be adequately hydrated.
  • Avoid taking medications that may increase blood pressure.