What are the signs and symptoms of surgical wound infection?

If you’ve recently gone under the knife, congratulations – you made it! However, before popping that champagne bottle or indulging in that comfort food, there’s one important thing you need to keep an eye on: surgical wound infections. This pesky complication can delay your recovery time, lead to increased pain and discomfort, and even land you back in the operating room. Below are some warning signs to ensure that doesn’t happen.


One of the most common tell-tale signs of a potential infected surgical site is redness around the incision area. You know how your face turns beet-red when someone makes an embarrassing joke about your favorite TV show? Yeah – this is basically what’s happening to your skin when it gets infected. The redness may start small and expand over time, so make sure to regularly observe the area for changes.


Swelling after surgery is normal (unless we’re talking about Kylie Jenner-level lip fillers). However, if swelling persists beyond 72 hours post-op or suddenly flares up, consider it yet another signal that all might not be well with your wound. Keep a close look at any hard or painful bulges around your scar as well.


Ah yes – fever; our body’s way of essentially saying “surprise! Want some chills?” Sure, they can also indicate something more serious like infection which happens frequently after surgery but let’s try not to stress ourselves out too much here (remember: laughter = best medicine). Pay attention if you experience sudden high fevers exceeding >100F/37C


Of course there’ll likely be some amount of pain associated with any sort invasive procedure; however,if pain seems excessive for everyday activities/movements (or again keeps getting stronger past day three) then take heed. Whether it’s a dull throb, sharp discomforting feeling or bursting sensation – pay attention and don’t assume it’ll just “go away soon”.


Nope we’re not talking about your co-worker who always seems to have the latest gossip on every department of your workplace (don’t be that person). This is more draining in the sense of excess discharge around your surgical incision. Any pus-like substance or clear-yellow fluids signify an infection. Don’t brush this off as ‘normal’ because you think otherwise, ensuring quick recovery requires fast thinking when certain signs appear.


Remember how excited you got when getting those sour candy from that new store downtown? The smell was unbearable but at least they tasted good right? Yeah…bad news is foul odor shouldn’t ever associate with any project associated with open body secretions even if through normal healing some smell will occur often described as metallic like stench which should go away 10-12 days post-surgery so keep giving frequent smells and checking for anything out of whack whether sweetish smell indicating yeast presence overgrowth or possibly chemical scent overall which could point towards more serious complications near the site.

It may seem overwhelming keeping track of all these factors while juggling work/school/kids/life in general but taking extra precautionary steps after having surgery can only benefit you overall especially concerning wound infections where vigilance and early detection make up most integral aspects of timely recovery post surgery!