Preventing Infection After Plastic Surgery: Patient Tips

June 21, 2017 — by Stephen Hardy M.D.
Tags: Infection Complications Recovery

A woman drinking water in bedPatients who visit our Missoula plastic surgery center know that they receive expert care. We focus on the pre-op and post-op process just as much as the surgery, which allows us to achieve excellent surgical results and high patient satisfaction. These are important concerns for involved procedures, such as major body contouring and sculpting surgery.

A number of patients have asked us about the risk of post-op infections. Let's cover some of the basics and offer some tips on how to prevent these complications from occurring.

How Likely Is Infection During Surgery?

The risk of infection during a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure is quite low. This is thanks to the many advances made in sterilization techniques and surgical technology. Now that so many procedures are minimally invasive and treatment times have been greatly reduced, the risks are quite low that patients will experience an infection during the surgery itself.

The Risk of Post-Operative Infection

The risk of post-operative infection is generally low as well, though there are many factors to keep in mind for patient recovery. While patients are less likely to experience an infection after a surgery has been performed, there are a few things they can do to keep the infection risk as low as possible and ensure they heal free from complications.

Do Not Smoke or Use Tobacco Products

Tobacco products prolong healing times after surgical procedures. In addition, smoking and chewing tobacco increase a person's risk for infection. In the weeks before surgery and the weeks after surgery, it's important to avoid tobacco products of all kinds. In fact, plastic surgery may be a convenient excuse to quit using tobacco products for good.

Avoid Alcohol Consumption

Like tobacco products, alcohol consumption can lead to slower healing times and increased infection risk. Be sure to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages for a few weeks heading into surgery and a few weeks after surgery.

Keep Incision Sites Clean and Sanitary

As you recover from surgery, your surgeons will provide instructions for proper cleaning and bathing. This will often include information on how to keep incisions sites clean as you heal. Be sure to follow these closely in order to reduce risk of various kinds of complications.

Change Dressings and Surgical Garments as Instructed

In addition to keeping the surgical sites sanitary, it's important that patients also keep any surgical dressings and surgical garments as clean as possible. Change dressings as directed, and be sure to wash compression garments as your surgeon suggests.

Focus On Rest to Heal Quickly

In order to ensure a quick recovery and reduce your risk for various complications, it's important that you focus on resting in the first days after surgery. Take time off from work and avoid placing any unnecessary strain on your body.

Walk to Promote Circulation

While strenuous exercise and physical activity should be avoided, patients are encouraged to get some light walking in when possible. Walking will promote circulation in the legs, eliminating the risk of blood clots and preventing potential infection and other issues. Walking can help ease patients back into their normal exercise and work routine.

Learn More About Your Plastic Surgery Options

For more information about improving your appearance safely and efficiently, we encourage you to contact of cosmetic plastic surgery center today. Our entire team will help you consider your options for aesthetic enhancement and answer all questions you may have about results and recovery.

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