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
Symptoms in the area where the surgery took place:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and look at your wound.
Tests may include the following:
Wound culture—to test for bacteria in the wound
Biopsy—removal of a small piece of tissue from the wound to test for bacteria
Ultrasound or CT scan—to look for infection in the wound and nearby areas
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:
Give you an antibiotic before, during, and after surgery
Armstrong C. IDSA releases guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of skin and soft tissue infections. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20061001/practice.html#p1. Accessed September 22, 2009.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a