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Preparing for surgery? Know the signs of post-procedure infection

When your doctor recommended surgery here in New York, you might have had a thousand thoughts running through your mind. How would you be able to take that much time off work? Who would watch the kids? Would your insurance cover most, if not all of the expenses? Would the procedure be a success? Are there serious personal injury risks involved?

These several of many common questions people have when they learn that a doctor believes surgery is the best option toward better health. It’s important, of course, to get to know your surgeon ahead of time and have the opportunity to ask questions and to learn more about the procedure you will undergo. Your surgeon must inform you of any known risks involved.

Signs that warrant medical attention after surgery

Depending on the type of surgery you have had, you might need days or weeks to fully recover. In some cases, you might have to stay in the hospital the entire time. Other post-operative recovery can take place at home. You and your medical team will determine what is best in your case. If any of the issues on the following list should arise, you’ll want to seek immediate medical attention:

  • If your surgeon made an incision on your body, it’s critical to a successful recovery that you closely monitor the incision site. If there is redness or swelling, you’ll want to inform your doctor right away.
  • In addition to a swollen or inflamed incision site, if there is any oozing, foul odor or bleeding, it definitely is a sign of possible infection.
  • Sepsis is a blood infection that can cause organ failure. If you get a fever or feel worse instead of better as days pass after surgery, it warrants immediate medical attention.
  • If you have trouble urinating or have abdominal pain, especially if you had a catheter or surgery in that area, it is of paramount importance that a doctor rules out infection.

Sadly, many post-surgery infections occur because of medical negligence. If your surgeon mistakenly leaves a surgical instrument or gauze inside your body, for instance, it can have disastrous results.

What to do if a post-surgical problem arises

Generally speaking, you should begin to feel a bit better every day as you recover from surgery in a New York hospital. If you don’t, do not hesitate to let your doctor know and seek further medical examination. In the hospital, there are patient advocates who can navigate the administrative system if you are experiencing a particular problem during recovery that you believe is related to substandard care.

State law allows victims of medical negligence to seek financial recovery for their losses in court. Especially in situations where a post-surgical infection prompts a need for additional surgery, medication or emergency care, court-awarded compensation may be a person’s only means of meeting the expenses associated with the incident.