A surgical site infection is an infection that happens at or close to the part of the body where surgery was performed. It usually occurs within the first few weeks after surgery, but in some cases can happen later.
What you can do to prevent a surgical site infection BEFORE surgery
- Do not shave near the body area where the surgery will be performed. Shaving can cause skin irritation, which can lead to an infection.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15 seconds.
- Eat nutritious foods.
- Control your blood sugar level.
- Stop tobacco use.
- Please notify your surgeon immediately if you think you are getting sick or have a fever.
- Tell your surgeon if you have any type of infection or rash.
- Have good personal hygiene. Make sure you shower with an antiseptic soap (e.g., Dial or Safeguard). You may be asked to shower with a special soap before you come for your surgery.
- After your procedure, watch for symptoms of a surgical site infection, which include redness, pain or swelling at the incision, fluid draining from the incision, fever, if you feel poorly, or if your incision opens.
- Call your surgeon immediately if you think you might have an infection. It might not be an infection, but it is important for you to let him/her know so that they can give you the proper follow-up care.
Surgery Optimization Clinic
Improving your health before surgery can reduce your risk for surgical complications and help you recover faster after surgery. Conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, tobacco use, impaired skin integrity, poor dental health, and being overweight or underweight can have negative effects on surgical outcomes.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of working with the Surgery Optimization Clinic before surgery include:
- Improving heart, lung, and other organ functions
- Decreasing the risk for infection
- Decreasing the amount of time spent in the hospital
- Improving activity level and overall fitness
- Reducing recovery time and improving outcomes
- Decreasing pain after surgery
How does it work? It may be determined that a referral to the Surgery Optimization Clinic is necessary prior to surgery. If so, the Surgery Optimization Clinic staff will contact you directly to schedule an appointment. Additionally, if you feel that you may benefit from a surgery optimization visit prior to your surgery please feel free to contact us directly. The Surgery Optimization Clinic is open to patients from all hospitals. One of the clinic’s certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNP) will consult with you during a 60-minute appointment, conduct a thorough assessment of your health, and provide you with important pre-surgery education and outline a pre-surgical plan of care.
UPMC Surgery Optimization Clinic
For more information about surgical services at UPMC call the UPMC PhoneLine at 717-231-8900.
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