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.
Factors that may increase your chance an SSI are:
An SSI may cause:
- 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:
Treatment options include:
Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics. The kind of antibiotic you will get depends on the bacteria causing the infection. You may be given antibiotics by IV or by mouth.
You may need surgery to clean out the infection from your wound. Your doctor will reopen the wound. It may be flushed with sterile fluid and drained of pus.
Your doctor may order a special dressing to help your wound heal.
To help reduce your chance of an SSI, your doctor may do the following:
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2016 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -