Surgical site infections are the infections that develop at the site where surgical operations were performed, in the surgical wound. It is estimated that approximately 2-5% of patients develop an infection of operation area. In abdominal surgery risk is up to 20% of patients. Surgical site infection can develop immediately after surgery, 30 days after surgery, or even later. In some operations, such as hip or knee operations that require installation of prosthesis, infection symptoms can occur one year after the surgery.

Symptoms that indicate a possible surgical site infection:
• Redness, swelling, pain or heat sensation around the surgical wound
• If the drain is placed in the wound drain fluid can be blurry
• Fever
• different skin colour around the surgical wound
• Unpleasant odour from the wound

If you notice any of these symptoms after surgery it is possible that you developed surgical site infection. You need to contact your doctor immediately.

There are three categories of surgical site infections:
1. Infection of the skin or tissues beneath the skin where the incision is made
2.  Deeper tissue infections including muscles
3.  Deep infection of other organs and tissues.

What if I develop surgical site infection? Is it dangerous?
Surgical site infections are mostly successfully treated with antibiotics. Although most of these infections are successfully treated, some of them can seriously jeopardize the life or health of the patient.

Infection at the surgical site usually includes:
• Re-admission to hospital
• an average of 8 extra days in hospital
• the need for intensive medical care

Patients who develop surgical site infection have two times higher probability of death in comparison to the patients who had the same operation, but did not develop infection. Therefore it is important to take all precautions before surgery to prevent infection. Discuss with your surgeon about the risk of postoperative infections at surgical site.

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