Five Ways to Reduce Infection after Plastic Surgery
Infection is generally caused when bacteria enters the skin via a break in the skin as a result of injury or surgery. Although there is always a risk for developing an infection after any type of surgery, your surgeon and attention to post-surgical instructions can significantly reduce your risk.
As a board certified surgeon, Dr. Ken Smart offers a variety of body contouring procedures at his Frisco, TX practice and will discuss how to achieve a smooth recovery. Below are five ways to reduce infection after plastic surgery.
Do Not Smoke
Smoking and the use of other tobacco products have a tendency to slow your body’s ability to heal and increase your risk for infection. The carbon monoxide in cigarettes competes with the oxygen in your body, and narrows blood vessels, preventing the healthy blood flow that is necessary for assisting your body in healing. In addition, the chemicals found in cigarettes limit neutrophils, cells known for fighting off infection.
Maintain a Healthy Environment
Prior to surgery, we recommend having your house professionally cleaned to rid it of any bacteria. Be sure to wash clothes and towels, change the sheets on your bed, empty the trash, dust, vacuum, and sanitize the areas where you will be recovering.
Having unhealthy bacteria hiding within the crevices of your home increases your risk for developing an infection. Make sure that the areas where you will be spending the majority of your time recovering are regularly cleaned. Having fresh sheets and a clean bathroom will not only make you feel better, but significantly reduce your risk for infection.
Keep the Incisions Clean
In addition to maintaining a clean home, be sure to keep the surgical site clean and dry. If surgical drains are placed as part of your surgery, be sure to keep those emptied and clean. Due to the nature of some surgeries, you may not be able to shower for the first few days. Be sure to read your post-surgical instructions carefully on how to change your bandages so as not to disrupt the surgical site.
Rest, Rest, Rest!
Resting is key to helping your body heal and fight off any infection. Because your immune system is already compromised as a result of surgery, if it is overly tired, it will weaken your immune system even further and prevent it from successfully fighting off infection.
Follow Post-surgical Instructions
In addition to the tips listed above, Dr. Smart will provide you with a full list of at-home care instructions to follow. This will include medications to take, how to wear your compression garment, and follow-up appointments to attend.
Patients who choose a qualified surgeon to perform their procedure, in addition to following their instructions, have a reduced risk for complications. If you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, increased pain and swelling, skin warm to the touch, followed by a fever, be sure to contact our office right away.
Contact Us Today
If you are interested in learning more about the body contouring procedures we provide and how to reduce infection after plastic surgery, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Smart at Frisco Plastic Surgery and MedSpa. You can reach us online or by calling (972) 334-0400.