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Surgery site wound infection
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Surgery site wound infection

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Contributors: Neil Mendoza MD
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An infection involving a surgical bed. These may be superficial and involve the epidermis and dermis, or can be deeper, involving viscera, muscle, body cavities, bone or prostheses or other artificial material employed in the surgery (mesh, graft material, etc).

The risk of developing a surgical site infection depends on a number of factors. Patients who smoke, have uncontrolled diabetes, are obese, or are malnourished are at increased risk. Surgical technique also plays a role, as does the proper application of skin antiseptic solutions.

A wide variety of pathogens can cause a surgical site infection including skin flora (including Staphylococcus species) and gut flora. Diagnosis is clinical and will depend on the type and location of infection that is suspected. Culture of purulent material can be helpful. At times, surgical exploration will be necessary to determine the extent of infection and to provide source control.

Several evidence-based prevention methods are routinely implemented to decrease the risk of developing a surgical site infection. Some of these methods including the use of sterile attire, prepping the skin with antiseptic solution, and administering antimicrobial prophylaxis. Care must be taken when choosing an appropriate antimicrobial regimen to target the flora that will likely be encountered at the surgical site, to dose the medications appropriately, and to discontinue the antimicrobials appropriately after the procedure is complete.


T81.4XXA – Infection following a procedure, initial encounter

58126003 – Postoperative wound infection

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Last Updated: 10/26/2015
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Surgery site wound infection
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Surgery site wound infection : Fever, Skin warm to touch, WBC elevated
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