The incision (cut) in the skin performed for
an operation can become infected. Surgical wound infections can range from
redness surrounding a small portion of the incision to deeper infections involving
underlying muscles or to a severe infection spread through the bloodstream.
Doctors take precautions to prevent surgical wound infections, including use
of sterile (free from germs) procedures and instruments
and appropriate use of antibiotics. Risk factors for surgical wound infections
include diabetes, emergency procedures, smoking, severe obesity, altered immune
function, malnutrition, low body temperature, and long operation times.