Department of Cardiovascular Sciences

Risk reduction

How can I reduce my risk of developing a wound infection

Being in good health before surgery will help your body defend itself against wound infections and will promote wound healing. You can do this by

  • Stopping smoking information

  • Maintaining a healthy balanced diet

  • Drinking plenty – 6 to 8 unsweetened drinks every day (water is best)

  • Not being underweight or overweight – you might need the help of a diet specialist to gain or lose weight before surgery

  • Keeping warm in the hospital – when you get cold, the blood supply to your skin reduces. The blood supply to your skin is important as it carries nutrients and cells which are essential for fighting infection and wound healing. You can keep yourself warm in the hospital by wearing a clean dressing gown and informing staff if you are cold.

  • Not having any other infections when you have your surgery – let your nurse of doctor know if you have any new symptoms or are feeling unwell.

  • Making sure your diabetes is well controlled – if you have diabetes ask the team looking after you to advise what to eat and drink before surgery and what medication to take.

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