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27th May 2015

This woman had abdominal surgery – watch what happened next!

Imagine having routine surgery and ending up feeling even worse than before you had the procedure.

Everything was well planned, you went to a good hospital with great staff and the operation went well.

But then about a week later, you notice that the wound is not healing as it should. In fact, the site where you had surgery is red and swollen. You begin to feel unwell: fever, chills, sweating.

You’ve picked up a surgical-site infection (SSI) which is filling with pus and making you feel ill.

That’s just what happened to the woman who posted this video on YouTube. She had abdominal surgery and noticed an infection shortly afterwards. So she decided to pierce the swollen wound to see what would happen….

**Spoiler alert** This is not for the faint-hearted!

When you have surgery, you are essentially left with a deep wound. This can take time to heal and, until it does, there is a risk of infection.

In most cases, the bacteria that infect the wound come from the patient’s own body.

Around 5% of patients undergoing surgery develop an SSI. Infections following surgery account for up to 20% of all healthcare-associated infections.

SSIs can range from mild to severe. At the lower end of the scale is the kind of ‘wound discharge’ seen above. More severe complications – such as sternal infections after open heart surgery – can be life-threatening.

Even mild SSIs can be very unpleasant. The man in this clip felt fine after surgery. In fact, he was healing nicely.

But a few weeks later, he was feeling very unwell and needed a second surgical procedure to address the infection he picked up during the initial operation.

“I had surgery last month and was recovering fine until the internal stitches started to dissolve. The result was a nasty infecting that floored me for 2 days. Now I have to have minor surgery fix this.”

Again, this is not safe for watching at meal times

Most SSIs are preventable and there are lots of ways to reduce the risk of infection.

Technology is helping. For example, surgeons can use antimicrobial coatings and sutures, modern surgical barriers, and absorbent film dressing. Good monitoring and rapid diagnosis also help to limit the seriousness of SSIs.

If you have surgery and notice redness or swelling, or if you feel feverish, call your doctor. You don’t want to find yourself posting YouTube videos of exploding surgical wounds!

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