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Infection can slow healing and recovery. It can also add time to a hospital stay. You may need more treatment or surgery.
Infection can lead to sepsis, which is an intense reaction to infection. Sepsis can cause dangerously low blood pressure, and it may damage organs. It can even cause death.
Your risk of infection may be higher if you have certain conditions like obesity or diabetes. It may be higher if you smoke. You may be able to lower your chance of infection by eating many kinds of healthy foods and being active before your surgery.
Here are some ways to help prevent surgical site infections.
Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
If your doctor tells you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
You may be given a special soap to use. If you're allergic to the special soap, ask your doctor how to wash your skin. Do not use lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
Shaving with a razor may increase the risk of infection.
If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines.
Being in good health before surgery may help. Here are some basic steps.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter B020 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Preventing Surgical Site Infections".
Current as of: January 20, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kara C. Taggart MD - Urology & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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