Is there anything I could/should do pre surgery to lower my risk of infection?
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Managing the time around surgery called the peri operative period will lead to good outcomes in most cases. As for surgical infections generally speaking, ensuring that you are optimally prepared by adjusting your meds, your diet and your over the counter regimen is important so there are no issues in surgery. Giving one does of pre operative antibiotics prior to incision, atleast 30 minutes prior is important. Ensuring that full sterile technique is followed in surgery is important. Making sure that the surgery is done meticulously without much bleeding, or other tissue harming things are done is important. Ensuring that proper post operative care is taken with good rest, good incision care, good functional activity to ensure that no additional stress is placed, avoiding animals, etc are all important to ensure that infections are minimized. The incidence of infections in elective cases is very low to begin with.
Wash your abdomen and pubic area with antibacterial soap for 3 days prior to the procedure. You can use a store brand like Dial, or purchase HIbiclens in a pharmacy. Don't shave your pubic hair for at least 3 days prior to the procedure. Shaving actually increased the bacterial count due to this minor trauma. Keep the incision clean after surgery and avoid abrading the incision with tight clothing. Showering is fine, but don't soak in a bathtub, hot tub, or pool until your doctor advises you it is safe. Eat a good diet with plenty of protein and drink lots of fluids. Antibiotic pills after surgery are unnecessary unless you show signs of infection. Most surgeons simply give a "one shot" of antibiotics through your intravenous line right before surgery to protect you.
My colleagues have provided excellent answers to this very important question. Follow all instructions given by your plastic surgeon and call the office if you have any questions. Make sure your surgery is performed in facility accredited by the Joint Commission, AAAASF, or both. If you are interested, you can ask questions about the sterile processing protocol. Generally, a certified sterile processing technician will handle sterilization of instruments.
Hello and thank you for your excellent question. I first recommend that you speak with your surgeon directly, to see if he or she has any specific recommendations. Second, factors like blood pressure control, diabetes / blood sugar control, obesity / overweight, and smoking or the use of nicotine products are under your control, and can be optimized and/or modified to help you get the best result. Finally, keeping the area clean with antibacterial soap BEFORE surgery will also help. Good luck!