Infection Control 

The risk of infection following cosmetic surgery is relatively low, occurring after only about one percent of all surgeries. However, it is important to take every preventive measure since an infection can have serious consequences. The first step in preventing infection is choosing a highly trained cosmetic surgeon practicing in a sterile, accredited facility. In order to ensure your safety, he or she will thoroughly assess your health prior to recommending a procedure. To expedite your recovery and achieve infection control at home, you should follow your surgeon’s instructions and schedule an immediate visit if you notice infection symptoms.

Are You at Risk of Infection?

There are certain factors that can increase your risk of infection and related complications after surgery:


Uncontrolled Diabetes

Diabetic patients have an increased risk of infection following surgery. Controlling your blood glucose levels can foster successful outcomes. 


Smoking compromises the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, increasing your risk of poor wound healing and other life-threatening consequences, including blood clots and pneumonia. Smoking also increases your risk of infection by 61 percent.

Chemotherapy and Radiation

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can compromise your immune system. Reconstructive surgery must wait until these treatments are complete and your surgeon determines it is safe.


A study by Vanderbilt University found that patients with a high body mass index (BMI) had a significantly increased risk of major infection compared to patients at a healthy weight

Heavy Alcohol Consumption

Heavy drinkers are 73 percent more likely to contract an infection after surgery. Be frank and honest with your doctor when discussing your alcohol consumption.

Symptoms of Infection

Infection is usually accompanied by symptoms such as: 

  • Fever 
  • Pain, swelling, or redness at the incision site 
  • Discharge or excessive fluids at the incision site 
  • A warm sensation at the surgical site 

You should contact your surgeon immediately if you notice any signs of infection because the condition can rapidly progress without treatment.

How to Prevent Infection after Surgery


Keep Incisions Clean

After being discharged from the hospital, you should practice gentle, yet thorough wound cleaning. Do not scrub the incision site. Reapply bandages and gauzes as directed by your doctor.

Take Your Antibiotics

In addition to pain medication, your doctor may prescribe oral medication to reduce your risk of infection. Take the medication as prescribed. 

Review Your Meds with Your Doctor

Certain medications such as anticoagulants can result in excessive bleeding at your incision sites. Review your medications with your doctor to ensure that they are safe to take during your recovery. 

Schedule a Consultation

You can minimize your risk of infection after surgery by following your doctor’s instructions and knowing the signs of complications. Schedule a consultation with your doctor if you notice any abnormal symptoms during recovery.

Dr. Brownrigg

Dr. Peter Brownrigg

Dr. Brownrigg has focused on facial plastic surgery since 1984. He is affiliated with a range of prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Canadian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Has acted as the Canadian Region Vice President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Has acted as the treasurer and president of the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Canadian Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Ontario Medical Association

For more information about the services we offer, contact our office online or call (613) 706-6919 today.

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Dr. Brownrigg has been focusing exclusively on facial plastic surgery since 1984!