When is surgery indicated for 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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Surgical intervention generally is not needed for the care of a patient with hyperkalemia. Patients with metabolic acidosis and consequent hyperkalemia due to ischemic gut obviously require exploration. Patients with hyperkalemia due to rhabdomyolysis may need surgical decompression of swollen, ischemic muscle compartments. Patients without end-stage renal disease who require hemodialysis for control of hyperkalemia require placement of a hemodialysis catheter for emergency dialysis. [77]

In patients with solid tumors, tumor debulking may be considered as a means of decreasing the risk of hyperkalemia from tumor lysis syndrome. [78]

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