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How to Tell if You Have an Infected Incision

Infection is one of the possible complications that can occur after any plastic surgery procedure. When this happens at the incision site, it means germs have entered the body either during or after surgery. This is why it is essential for your safety to find a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, such as Dr. Neil J. Zemmel. Board-certified plastic surgeons follow strict safety and care guidelines, which significantly lower the risk of complications like infection. However, even with the most qualified surgeon, there is still some degree of risk, which is why it is important for you to follow pre- and post-operative instructions closely.

Depending on the type of plastic surgery you are undergoing—whether liposuction, tummy tuck surgery, the mommy makeover, or another procedure—prophylactic antibiotics may be administered during and after surgery. This helps fight off bacterial infection at the surgical site. Once you have entered the recovery period, you will be instructed on proper wound care and what to expect. During this time, you should pay attention to how your incision(s) look and feel, monitoring for any changes. It is normal to experience some itching near the incision site, as this often indicates your body is healing.

If you are experiencing pain that continues to progress, or other symptoms like abnormal swelling, redness, fever, or chills, you may have developed a severe bacterial or fungal infection. When left untreated, infection can become life-threatening, which is why it is important for you to be aware of the signs of infection and other complications. Since it can be confusing to know whether or not symptoms are a normal part of the healing process, Dr. Zemmel encourages patients to not hesitate to contact their surgeon with any questions or concerns they may have.

While the risk of infection is relatively low for surgeries performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Zemmel strives to educate his patients on what to look for so they can recognize if any changes need medical attention. In addition, to maximize patient safety during surgery, he performs all surgical procedures in fully accredited operating rooms in the hospital setting.

To learn how you can obtain a safe plastic surgery procedure and smooth recovery, please contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Zemmel.

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