How to Minimize Post-Surgery Infection

Dr. Atul Kesarwani is the medical director of the Cosmedical Rejuvenation Clinic. As a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Kesarwani has 30+ years of experience in the field. Read more about Dr. Kesarwani >

 

Even though post-surgery infection is quite rare with cosmetic procedures, it’s still a possibility that you should be aware about. There are a number of practical steps you can take to manage your risks.

1.  If you have body hair in the area of the surgery, do not shave it. This might seem like the polite thing to do, but it is not needed. If you shave in the area regularly it is okay but do not shave just before a procedure.

Commercial razors and clippers can cut the skin or yank out hair follicles. This creates a new avenue for infection in the area around the incision. If it needs to be shaved leave it to us! We have specialized medical clippers that are much safer.

2.  Have a healthy week leading up to the surgery.

Are you a smoker? Do you drink regularly? If you can give both up and eat a healthy diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, you’ll be empowering your body and prepping it for surgery.

If you can sleep 8 hours a night, do it!

Keep as hydrated as you can. Anything you can do to make your body healthier will decrease your risk of infection later on.

3.  After the surgery, follow our post-op instructions. If Dr Kesarwani advises that you leave your sutures to the open air, leave them! If he says to keep your bandages on, keep them.

4.  Leisurely walk around, if you can. One of the riskiest infections in major surgeries has nothing to do with your incisions. It has to do with your lungs. Take deep breaths and walk around to clear your lungs.

5.  Avoid soaking in the tub until your incisions have closed properly. Sponge baths are okay if you avoid the area of your bandages, but soaking in a tub carries a high risk of introducing bacteria into your incisions.

6.  Be careful with your makeup. Makeup is not sterile, so be sure to apply it well away from your incisions, and be vigilant if it starts to run.

7.  Avoid direct sunlight. Sunlight can damage the skin and weaken it. Wear a sun hat or use an umbrella until the incisions heal.

8.  Try not to strain the incisions. Pay close attention to how you move to avoid reopening the wounds.

9.  Follow proper care when changing the dressing. Remember to use sterile dressings and to thoroughly wash your hands before touching the incision.

With proper care, the odds of severe infection after a plastic surgery are extremely low! Follow these tips and any additional instructions from your surgeon to guarantee a successful recovery.

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