When is surgery indicated in the treatment of hyperkalemia (high serum potassium level)?

Updated: Apr 09, 2020
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Surgery is typically unnecessary, but the following scenarios may involve surgical intervention:

  • Patients with metabolic acidosis and consequent hyperkalemia due to ischemic gut: Exploration required

  • Patients with hyperkalemia due to rhabdomyolysis: Surgical decompression of swollen ischemic muscle compartments may be needed

  • Patients without end-stage renal disease who require hemodialysis for control of hyperkalemia: Placement of a hemodialysis catheter for emergent dialysis needed [4]

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

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