The first 30 days after surgery is usually the most critical window to watch out for post-op infections. A surgical site infection (SSI) generally refers to any condition in which pathogens invade and grow on the site of a surgical incision, leading to various degrees of wound infection. If your surgery doesn't require an incision, then you might not need to worry about post-op infections. However, any incision cut during the surgery comes with risks of post-op wound infection. The infection can make your skin reddish and painful. If it's allowed to worsen, the infection site could overflow with puss and eventually induce more complications such as fever and sepsis – a blood condition that can induce organ failure. The infection can progress from the outer skin layers to the deeper layers of muscles and tissues, and could even reach back to the organ or body part where the surgery was performed.
Types of Post-Op Infections
The most common types of post-surgery infection are muscle and tissue wound infections, which only affect the soft tissues around the incision site. But if left untreated, the infection could penetrate beep beyond the skin into muscle tissues and eventually to the organ where the surgery was performed. The body part where the surgery was performed may also sustain wound infections as a direct result of being manipulated during the surgery, sometimes requiring secondary surgery.
Who's at Greater Risk of Developing Post-Op Infection?
Post-op infection is usually caused by pathogens that were either already present on the skin and then migrated to the surgical site, or on the organ or the part of the body where the surgery was performed, or in the environment where the surgery was conducted. Other factors that might expose you to greater risks of post-op wound infection include medical conditions like diabetes, immune problems, existent skin infections, etc., and lifestyle factors such as smoking habits, obesity, and obesity. It's always advisable to report any symptoms of post-op surgery to our doctors as soon as you notice them.
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