Typically, a surgical site infection (SSI) develops 30 days following surgery. The following are three forms of surgery site infections:
- Deep incisional SSI. The muscle and tissues around the muscles become infected beneath the incision site.
- Superficial incisional SSI. Only the skin area where the incision was done becomes infected.
- Space or organ SSI. Other than the skin, muscles, and surrounding tissue that were involved in the surgery, this form of infection can occur anywhere on the body.
Any infection may result in fever, swelling, soreness, pain, redness, or delayed healing. Other indications and symptoms for particular SSI types include the following:
- SSIs with deep incisions may also ooze pus. The wound site could naturally heal, or if a surgical reopening is performed, a surgeon might find pus inside the wound.
- Discharge from the wound site may be produced by a superficial incisional SSI. To identify the specific types of germs causing the infection, pus sample cultures might be used.
- A pus discharge from a drain inserted through the skin into an organ or bodily space may be visible on an SSI of that organ or area.