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Signs of Mild Stroke After Surgery

author image Julie Boehlke
Julie is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to camp with friends and family. Julie spends her free time writing, working on her novel and brewing up new recipes of wine—her newest hobby. She enjoys scouring junk shops and antique boutiques in search of rare finds and one of-a-kind treasures. She collects vintage dishes and antiquarian books. Julie spends her days being followed around aimlessly by her most adoring fan—Mushu the pug. She ventures out on weekends to the remote trails and deep north woods of Michigan. Julie also enjoys exploring out of the way nooks and crannies along the great lakes shoreline.
Signs of Mild Stroke After Surgery
Two surgeons passing operating tools over a patient Photo Credit: XiXinXing/XiXinXing/Getty Images

Any type of surgery poses a series of possible risks and possible complications. Surgeries related to cardiology, neurology and pulmonary conditions run a much higher risk than others. Experiencing a mild stroke just before, during or after surgery may not be visible until the patient awakes and recovers from anesthesia. There are signs to look for that will help medical personnel evaluate whether the patient may have experienced a mild stroke.

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The patient may relay to the doctor or family members that he is experiencing numbness somewhere on his body. This could happen immediately afterward or a few hours preceding a surgery. Isolated numbness, such as in the left arm or hands, could be a sign of a mild stroke. If one particular area is numb to the point where it can’t be moved or is no longer functioning properly, such as a leg or areas of the face, a complete evaluation should take place to see if a stroke has occurred.


After surgery, many patients may experience an hour or so of mild confusion or drowsiness. This is mainly due to anesthesia or other drugs that were administered during the surgery. If the confusion persists and the patient grows increasingly confused or is unable to remember who or where she is, this may be a sign the patient has had a slight stroke.

Blurred Vision and Slurred Speech

When a mild stroke has occurred after surgery, vision and speech could be affected. If the patient is staring off to the side, not able to focus or has a droopy eyelid, these could be warning signals something went wrong during surgery. Slurred speech, having trouble pronouncing words and stuttering are signs as well.

Lack of Coordination

When the patient finally gets ready to stand or sit up on their own after surgery, she can be slightly wobbly at first; this is perfectly normal. When someone cannot walk straight, has trouble supporting themselves or falls easily, she may have been affected by a mild stroke. It is important to report any coordination change or balance inability to the physician for a complete evaluation and further testing.


After surgery, most patients are looking forward to healing and getting through recovery time with minimal pain and discomfort. If a sudden pain or overwhelming discomfort occurs in the head, it should be evaluated by a medical professional. Added symptoms may include tunnel vision, blackouts and isolated pain and pressure in the head.

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