Confusion following surgery…

R.G. asks:

My husband just had some surgery. I visit him every day, but he seems to be very confused and disoriented. When will he snap out of it?

What you are describing sounds like delirium, a common condition following surgery, especially among older people.

Surgery involves anesthesia as well as dealing with often serious medical issues. During the period of recovery, it is not unusual to show the signs of confusion you note your husband has. Delirium is also common whenever one’s body is out of balance, such as happens during acute illness or infection.

While delirium can potentially be serious if its source is unknown and if it is untreated, this is usually not the case following surgery. Your physician should be familiar with the condition and treat it accordingly. When correctly identified and treated, delirium usually lifts after a short period of time and mental functioning returns to normal.

For more on delirium, click here.

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