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Post-Operative sepsis is a rare but very serious complication that can develop after surgery. It’s important that all patients and caregivers know the signs of this condition so they can get help if it develops. Below, we’ll share the basics of this condition so you can know what to look out for after an operation.

What is Sepsis?

In order to understand post-operative sepsis, you must first understand what sepsis is in general. Our immune systems are always hard at work, fighting off potential infections and helping our bodies heal from current infections. Sepsis occurs when the body’s immune system develops an overactive response to one of these infections. The immune system then begins to attack the body itself, which can be life-threatening.

What is Post-Operative Sepsis

Surgery puts major stress on the body, which in turn affects the immune system. Sometimes, infections can develop on or near the surgery site, which can affect your recovery. In very rare cases, these infections can lead to post-operative sepsis, where the infection after surgery triggers a severe immune system reaction.

Signs and Symptoms

Sepsis usually begins with flu-like symptoms which can quickly become more severe. These can include confusion, slurred speech, breathing problems, chills/muscle pain, or changes in skin appearance. It’s also important to look out for general infection symptoms, which can potentially lead to complications like sepsis. Infection signs include redness, swelling, or changes in the appearance of your surgery site, as well as pus or discharge coming from the site.

When To See a Doctor

If you have any signs of infection post-surgery then it’s important to see your doctor. Infections can be painful and can also affect your recovery time. Plus, infections can lead to more serious complications down the line. If you suspect sepsis, then get emergency medical care right away. This condition can quickly become life-threatening if not treated.

Working With an Infectious Disease Expert

Sharaf Diwan MD is an infectious disease specialist serving Houston and the surrounding areas. If you need comprehensive care for an infection, our team is here to help. Call 832-604-0005 to schedule your appointment today.

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