Jun 01 2017

Reducing the Risk of Infection after Plastic Surgery

A woman sitting in bed drinking waterMany people who are unhappy with stubborn fatty areas turn to body contouring to achieve a more streamlined and defined appearance. Before deciding to undergo body contouring or any plastic surgery, it is important to be aware of the potential risks. Here, we take a closer look at the risk of infection after plastic surgery, along with ways to reduce your risk. If you have further questions about infection after plastic surgery and live in or around Toms River, NJ, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Rosen.

What May Cause Infection after Plastic Surgery?

The skin acts as a protective barrier, keeping bacteria out of the body. Accordingly, when an opening is made in the skin, there is some risk of infection. An infection may develop after surgery if bacteria are allowed to enter an incision.

Bacteria may come into contact with an incision in a number of ways, such as touching incisions without cleaning the hands first, not changing bandages frequently enough, or keeping incisions wet. In very rare cases, bacteria may be introduced at the time of surgery if instruments aren't properly sterilized or the skin around the surgical site is not properly cleaned.

Signs and Symptoms of Infection

Although some pain and swelling is normal after plastic surgery, pain and swelling that gets worse may be a sign of an infection. Seeking medical attention at the first sign of an infection is essential to preventing the spread of infection or other serious complications.

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of infection is important when undergoing any surgery to ensure quick action is taken to stop the spread of infection. Some common signs and symptoms of infection include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness, especially when combined with pain and swelling
  • Skin is hot to the touch in the infected area
  • The incision has a bad odor
  • Green or yellow discharge at the incisions
  • Fever

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Infection

One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of infection after plastic surgery, or any surgery, is to practice good aftercare. Following all post-surgical instructions, getting plenty of rest, and maintaining a clean environment can all help reduce the risk of infection. Some other tips to help reduce the risk of infection include:

  • Avoid getting incisions wet
  • Keep incisions clean by following your surgeons cleaning instructions
  • Change any bandages or dressings as often as advised by your surgeon
  • Wash your hands before cleaning incisions and changing bandages
  • Allow incisions to dry before bandaging
  • Maintain a clean environment
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Get plenty of rest to help boost the immune system
  • Don't skip follow-up doctor visits
  • Contact your doctor at the first sign of an infection

Learn More about Preventing Infection after Plastic Surgery

For more information about preventing infection after plastic surgery, or to discuss your plastic surgery options, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Rosen.

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Michael Rosen, MD

Phone: (732) 240-6396

Address: Toms River Office 1114 Hooper Ave
Toms River, NJ 08753

Phone: (732) 741-7774

Address: Eatontown Office 26 Main St
Eatontown, NJ 07724