Signs of infection that can occur after plastic surgery
Plastic surgery comes with different risks, and among them is the risk of infection. Infection is due to the presence and multiplication of bacteria. There are a few ways on how the bacteria is introduced to the site, including exposure to unclean hands during handling of the incision, moist incision site, and unsterile tools or operating room during surgery.
There are few signs of infection that patients should watch out for. These would include fever, swelling, pain, redness, warmth on the incision site, the presence of discharge, and a foul odor coming from the wound. In order to treat the infection, antibiotics can be administered orally or intravenously.
Infection can be fatal, and it would be best not to get it in the first place. There are a few ways on how to lessen the risk of developing an infection, such as following the surgeon’s post-operative instructions, attending follow-up check-ups, proper handling and cleaning of the incision site, and providing adequate rest and nutrition to the body.
Infection after plastic surgery
Going through a plastic surgery can cause positive changes in the body of the patient. This is one of the main reasons why patients go through surgery even if it involves risks. Infection is one of the most dangerous and most common risks that come with any plastic surgery.
Infection is caused by bacteria that thrives and multiplies in the body. It gains access to the internal part of the body because of the incision that was made. Infections can be severe enough to cause the death of the patient. This is why it should be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
Causes of infection after plastic surgery
Due to the incision, the body is more at risk for bacteria that can cause an infection. The main site where the infection usually takes place is the incision site. It is where there is a break in the skin. This break prevents the natural barrier that protects the internal part of the body from the environment to do its job.
An infection can develop after the surgery due to a variety of conditions. One of them is when the patient’s hand is not clean when it touches or handles the incision site. An unclean or unsterile hand can introduce bacteria to the incisions. It is very important to make sure to clean the hands when handling the incision or changing the dressing. It is also not advised to touch the incision site when you don’t really have to.
Bacteria on the skin near the site of the incision can also be a cause of infection. This is why it is important to clean the incision site properly. The incision sites should also be kept dry because a moist incision site will only be beneficial to the multiplying bacteria.
It is also possible that the bacteria that caused the infection got access to the body during the surgery. The tools used during the surgery as well as the operating room itself must be sterile. If not, there is likely to be an infection even if the patient cleanses the incision site well after the surgery.
Lots of infections may occur due to poor practices of those who perform the surgery. These are the ones that may offer plastic surgery at a very low cost. The problem with these kinds of plastic surgery is the increased risk of infection after the surgery. There is also no post-surgery follow-up appointments, which is why patients unknowingly develop an infection without being immediately treated.
There are patients who die due to infection because the infection is not immediately treated. The infection may have already reached the blood and spread throughout the body. This kind of infection could lead to death, which is why patients need to see their doctor even after surgery to assess whether they are recovering properly or not.
Signs of infection after plastic surgery
There are a few signs and symptoms of having an infection after plastic surgery. Patients need to be mindful of their bodies so they can easily spot if they already have an infection or not.
One of the most common signs of having an infection is pain. Although pain is normally felt after the surgery, pain that doesn’t get better or becomes worse as the patient recovers may be a sign of infection. There can also be swelling, redness, and warmth on the site of the infection.
A discharge from the incision site can also be observed. This discharge is different from the discharge that comes from a seroma. The discharge found on the site of infection can be a yellowish or greenish color.
The infected incision site can also have a foul odor. This is due to the bacteria present. The foul odor may also be due to the necrotic tissue that develops as a result of the infection.
Fever is also a very common sign of infection. The body is reacting to the bacteria present and it is trying to kill it by increasing the body temperature. This is why patients who have an infection develop a fever.
Treatment of infection
In order to treat the infection, antibiotics will be prescribed by the surgeon. Usually, surgeons will prescribe antibiotics that would be taken starting the day of the surgery. The antibiotics should be taken at regular intervals and should be completely consumed.
When antibiotics are not completely taken in, it is highly possible for the patient to become infected again. With the reinfection, a stronger kind of antibiotic may be needed to heal completely.
Antibiotics can be taken in orally at regular intervals, or they can also be administered intravenously. Most infections can be treated with oral antibiotics, but when a patient’s case is severe, intravenous antibiotics may be used. It is also possible for the patient to be admitted to the hospital to monitor their condition.
Reducing risk of infection
Infection can cause death. This is why it is better to avoid getting an infection in the first place than trying to treat it when it is already too late. Infection is a risk with any kind of plastic surgery, but there are a few ways on how to reduce that risk, such as:
– Surgeon’s post-operative instructions should be followed: Surgeons have their own set of instructions as to what to do after surgery. All of these should be followed because they are the ones who operated on you and they know what is best. It is especially important to follow the surgeon’s instructions regarding antibiotics. The antibiotics are usually given during recovery whether you have an infection or not. It is a precaution because surgeons want to make sure about the patient’s safety.
– Follow-up appointments should be attended: Surgeons will schedule follow-up check-ups for their patients in order to assess how the incision is healing. They also assess whether the patient is developing an infection or any other complication through the follow-up check-ups. Patients shouldn’t skip these even if they don’t feel anything strange because it is a good precautionary measure to take.
– Make sure the incision is clean and change the dressings as recommended: The incision site should always be kept clean and dry. The surgeons will provide instructions as to how and how often patients should change the dressing and bandages. These should all be followed. Patients should also make sure their hands are clean when they handle their incision.
– Rest and provide adequate nutrition to the body: The body can fight off bacteria and prevent it from multiplying at a very fast rate when you provide it with what it needs. The body doesn’t only need nutritious foods and water but also adequate rest or sleep. It is during sleep that the cells recover fast. The faster the incision closes, the less time the body is easily exposed to bacteria.
Infection is a common risk to all plastic surgeries. It is a complication that can be easily treated with antibiotics, but it can also be fatal especially when it is not diagnosed immediately.
Infection is caused by bacteria that could reach the incision due to improper wound handling or unsterile conditions during the surgery itself. There are a few signs a patient can observe when an infection is present. This would include fever, redness and swelling in the area, pain, a foul odor, and discharge coming from the incision.
Once a patient is diagnosed with an infection, antibiotics will be prescribed to cure them. Antibiotics can also be prescribed by surgeons right after the surgery even if the patients don’t have an infection as a precautionary measure. Other ways to lessen the risk of infection would include regular visits to the surgeon after surgery, proper handling of the incision site, following the surgeon’s post-operative instructions, and providing the body with adequate nutrition, hydration, and rest.
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