A surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection in the area where surgery was done. Most SSIs involve the skin, but sometimes deep tissue or organs can become infected.
The sooner a surgical site infection is treated, the better the outcome. If you think you have this condition, contact your doctor right away.
Some factors that may increase your chances of developing an SSI are:
If you have any of these symptoms, they may be due to an SSI. But other conditions can also cause them. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- Fever more than 100.5ºF 48 hours or more after surgery
- Fast heart rate
- Chest pain
Symptoms in the area where the surgery took place:
- Bad smell
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and look at your wound.
Tests may include the following:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Here are some treatment options:
Your doctor will give you a type of medicine called an antibiotic . Antibiotics fight infection. The kind of antibiotic you will get depends on the bacteria causing the infection. You may be given antibiotics by IV (needle in your vein) or by pill.
You may need surgery to clean out the infection from your wound. Your doctor will reopen the wound. He may flush it with sterile fluid, drain it of pus, and remove infected areas.
Your doctor may order a special dressing to help your wound heal.
To help reduce your chances of getting an SSI, your doctor may do the following:
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -