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Postoperative Infections Tips

Postoperative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery!

MBBS, Cerebrovascular and Micro neurosurgery fellowship, MS - General Surgery, MCh Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Jaipur
Postoperative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery!

Spinal surgery becomes inevitable when back pain cannot be managed with medications and/or exercise. This is a major decision and requires planning for many things before, during, and after the surgery.

Before a spinal surgery- This preparation will help in smooth recovery, especially if you do not have a full-time caretaker.

  1. Discontinue pain killers: Discontinue pain killers at least 10 to 14 days before surgery. These are blood thinners and can prolong bleeding during the surgery.

  2. Prepare for blood loss: Most people experience some blood loss, but not excessive.

  3. Use a toilet seat raiser: Sitting and getting up from the toilet seat may be difficult. The seat raiser is used to increase the height, making this movement easy.

  4. Enable easy access to common items: Before heading for the surgery, keep things which are commonly used within easy reach. This will help reduce movement and avoid searching (especially if someone else is going to be doing it).

  5. Stock it up: Cooking may not be feasible during the initial postop period, and so it is advisable to stock up food items (ready to eats, fruits, soups, etc.) which will come in handy.

  6. Slip-ons: Bending down and tying shoes may not be easy, so slip-ons can be used.

  7. Caregiving: It is always advisable to have someone stay over with you during the initial postop days. They could help with regular household chores, cooking, etc.

  8. Lifestyle changes: Ensure you eat well in the days before surgery, quit smoking, quit/use moderate amounts of alcohol, and exercise as advised by your surgeon.

After Surgery- Post surgery, there will be some pain and limitation of movement. It is important to understand that adherence to post-op instructions will improve the success rate of the surgery. Also, recovery time for spine surgery is slightly longer and affects overall quality of life, so psychological preparation is required.

  1. Postoperative medications: These will be given to control infection and pain in the immediate postop period, and should be taken without fail

  2. Rehab: The surgeon will recommend physical therapy and rehab exercises which need to be followed. Complete recovery may take anywhere between 3 to 12 months. During this time, care should be taken to avoid repeat injury.

  3. Support: Adequate back support should be provided using lumbar support and ergonomic chairs, and the right posture should be maintained. Ensure there is no undue strain on the back muscles.

  4. Weight management: With excess weight, there is too much strain on the lower disks. Therefore, weight should be managed to reduce this strain.

  5. Smoking and alcohol should be completely stopped, as healing can be hampered.

With some preparation, spinal surgery can be sailed through smoothly. Consult an Expert & get answers to your questions!

1950 people found this helpful

Dental Implants & Dental Crowns - Immediate Post-operative Care

Dr. Priti A Kumar 89% (772 ratings)
BDS
Dentist, Delhi
Dental Implants & Dental Crowns - Immediate Post-operative Care

When a tooth is lost, the dental implant or dental crown would be the closest replacement both in terms of chewing efficiency and facial appearance.

Unlike a denture, the implant replaces not just the crown structure but also the root portion. This ensures that the tooth is replaced as it was prior to the loss. When clinically done properly and cared for appropriately, the dental implant can last for decades.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

  1. To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  2. To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  3. To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
  4. To hold a dental bridge in place
  5. To cover misshapened or severely discolored teeth
  6. To make a cosmetic modification

And, if you have gone for dental implants, keep the following in-check to maintain a good oral health after you the implant is done- 

  • Until the effect of the anesthetic wears off, do not eat or limit to drinking something cold. Avoid anything hot or spicy for the first day.
  • Start using the mouthwash from the evening of surgery and continue through the entire week. It should be held in the surgical area for at least a minute, repeated 3 times daily, for the first week.
  • The other teeth should be brushed from the evening of the surgery. The surgical area should not be touched for the first 3 to 4 days. After that, depending on the pain tolerance, gently brush this area with a soft toothbrush.
  • Add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water, keep it in the surgical site for a soothing effect. This can be repeated as many times as possible, after each meal or snack.
  • Follow a soft diet and do not let the food go into the surgical site area.
  • Do not disturb the surgical site with either tongue or finger.
  • Smoking should be completely avoided until the wound completely heals. The negative pressure created during can dislodge the clot and lead to delayed healing and even complications like dry socket.
  • Expect some swelling and/or bruising in the cheek and mouth area, which will increase for the first 2 to 3 days and then gradually subside. Swelling can be managed with ice packs or a cold towel that is applied for 10 minutes with half-hour breaks. From day 2 onwards, gentle heat can be used.
  • Similarly, expect pain for the first couple of days which can be controlled with pain-killers. Take the first pain-killer before the anesthetic effect wears off.
  • Continued pain and swelling after the first 4 to 5 days should prompt a visit to the dentist, as it might be an indication of underlying dental infection.
  • If you have dentures over the surgical implant site, try using them to the least extent possible for the first week.
  • Complete the entire antibiotics course after the surgery.

Appropriate post-operative care goes a long way in ensure the implant gets absorbed and lasts a lifetime. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

4864 people found this helpful

Hernia Surgery - Tips On Post-Operative Care!

Dr. Ajay Gupta 92% (224 ratings)
FIAGES, FMAS, MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Pune
Hernia Surgery - Tips On Post-Operative Care!

Hernias are mostly treated by surgeries as definitive care. Post-operative period has become comfortable with the invention of minimal-invasive surgeries. Postoperative recovery is smoother and faster after laparoscopic and robotic surgeries.

Yes, the patient has to go for a surgery, if hernias spreads to quite an extent. In such cases, there are several steps that need to be taken as a part of the post-operative care for this surgery. Hernia surgery is quite common in today’s medical world. All you need to have is a good medical practitioner who would operate on you and you need to have complete trust on the expert and their methods of treatment. There are several ways to take care of yourself after the surgery. Some of these are explained below.

  1. Diet includes liquids at first: During the first few days after the surgery, the patient is offered only liquids. Due to the anaesthesia, it becomes difficult to consume solid food initially. Only when the doctor sees that the patient is fit enough to consume solids, will solid foods be given to the patient. This is also an indicator that the patient is recovering well and might be let off soon from the hospital.
  2. Patient is discharged only after anaesthetic effects are completely gone: For some time after the surgery, the patient is under the effects of the anaesthesia. If it is a local one then it would take a few hours for its effects to completely subside. But if it is a complex one, then it might take some more time for its effects to completely withdraw. Only after the patient is completely out of the effects of anaesthesia, will he/she be allowed a discharge.
  3. Avoid headache: Patients are made to lie down flat on their back for at least a few hours after the surgery so that they do not experience anaesthetic headache. This can be painful and unbearable at times. But this can be avoided if the patient lies down for quite some time till the effects of it have worn off.
  4. Shower: Usually there is a restriction in getting the operated area wet. But a shower can be carefully taken after at least two days of the operation.

Thus, these are some of the most important post-operative hernia surgery care tips. If you adhere to these points, your recovery process will speed up and it would prevent you from getting affected by any other health problems in your recovery period. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3158 people found this helpful

Ear Infections!

Dr. Ramakanth Reddy 92% (153 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Child Health
Pediatrician, Hyderabad
Ear Infections!

Ear Infections

Middle-ear infections (otitis media) are inflammation or infections located in the middle ear space. Ear infections can occur as a result of a cold or upper respiratory infection, or may occur in isolation in the presence of chronic middle ear fluid.

Risks

While children or adults may develop an ear infection, the following are some of the factors that may increase a person’s risk of developing ear infections:

  • Being around someone who smokes

  • Family history of ear infections

  • A weak immune system

  • Spending time in a day care setting

  • Having a cold or upper respiratory infection

  • Being bottle-fed while lying on his or her back

  • Chronic fluid within the middle ear

Causes

Middle-ear infections are usually a result of dysfunction of the eustachian tube, a canal that links the middle ear with the throat area. The eustachian tube helps to equalize the pressure between the outer ear and the middle ear.

When this tube is not working properly, it prevents normal pressure equalization, causing a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum. Additionally, it can be a source of bacteria to enter the middle ear. When this fluid cannot drain, it allows for the growth of bacteria and viruses in the ear that can lead to an ear infection. The following are some of the reasons that the eustachian tube may not work properly:

  • A cold or allergy, which can lead to swelling and congestion of the lining of the nose, throat and eustachian tube (this swelling prevents the normal drainage of fluids from the ear)

  • Smoke exposure

  • Young age (the eustachian tube of young children is underdeveloped and does not work as efficiently as adults’)

  • A malformation of the eustachian tube

  • Enlarged and chronically inflamed adenoids

Types of Middle-Ear Infections

Different types of otitis media include the following:

  • Acute otitis media. This middle-ear infection occurs abruptly, causing swelling and redness. Fluid and mucus become trapped inside the ear, causing the child to have a fever and ear pain.

  • Otitis media with effusion. Fluid (effusion) and mucus continue to accumulate in the middle ear after an initial infection subsides. The child may experience a feeling of fullness in the ear, and it may affect his or her hearing, or cause no symptoms.

  • Chronic otitis media with effusion. Fluid remains in the middle ear for a prolonged period or returns again and again, even though there is no infection. May result in difficulty fighting new infection and may affect a person’s hearing.

Symptoms

The following are the most common symptoms of an ear infection. However, each child may experience symptoms differently.

  • Fever, especially in infants and younger children

  • Fluid draining from ear canals

  • Loss of balance

  • Hearing difficulties

  • Ear pain

It may be more difficult to detect an ear infection in young children who have not learned to speak yet. Symptoms in children and nonverbal individuals may include:

  • Unusual irritability

  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep

  • Tugging or pulling at one or both ears

The symptoms of ear infections may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's health care provider for a diagnosis.

Diagnosing Ear Infections

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your child's health care provider will inspect the outer ear(s) and eardrum(s) using an otoscope. The otoscope is a lighted instrument that allows the health care provider to see inside the ear. A pneumatic otoscope blows a puff of air into the ear to test eardrum movement.

Tympanometry is a test that can be performed in most health care providers’ offices to help determine how the middle ear is functioning. It does not test hearing, but it helps to detect any changes in pressure in the middle ear. This is a difficult test to perform in younger children because the child needs to remain still and not cry, talk or move.

A hearing test may be performed for children who have frequent ear infections.

Treatment

Specific treatment for ear infections will be determined by your health care provider based on the following:

  • Age, overall health and medical history

  • Extent of the condition

  • Tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the condition

  • Your opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics by mouth or eardrops

  • Medication for pain and fever

  • Observation

  • A combination of the above

If fluid remains in the ear(s) for longer than three months and the infection continues to reoccur even with the use of antibiotics, your health care provider may suggest that small tubes be placed in the ear(s). This surgical procedure, called myringotomy and tympanostomy tube placement, involves making a small opening in the eardrum to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure from the middle ear. A small tube is placed in the opening of the eardrum to ventilate the middle ear and prevent fluid from accumulating. The child's hearing is restored after the fluid is drained. The tubes usually fall out on their own after six to 12 months.

Your surgeon may also recommend the removal of the adenoids (lymph tissue located in the space above the soft roof of the mouth, also called the nasopharynx) if they are infected or enlarged. Removal of the adenoids has shown to help some people with chronic ear infections.

Treatment will depend on the type of ear infection. Consult your health care provider regarding treatment options.

Effects of an Ear Infection

In addition to the symptoms of ear infections listed above, untreated ear infections can result in any or all of the following:

  • Infection in other parts of the head

  • Scarring or perforation of the eardrum

  • Permanent hearing loss

  • Problems with speech and language development (children)

4 people found this helpful

Vaginal infection

Dr. Varinder Singh Chandhok 88% (1936 ratings)
General Physician (AM)
Alternative Medicine Specialist, Chandigarh

It is a common condition, and causes discomfort in post-pubertal and adult women, whether sexually active or not.
Though the condition will affect around one third of women during their lifetimes, there are steps you can take to prevent having an itchy, fishy smelling vagina.

Prevent vaginal infections:

- wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. Pat yourself dry after passing urine. Use unscented, uncoloured, double-layered toilet paper.

- wash your genital area once a day with plain water or use a mild, unperfumed soap to wash the genital area. Rinse well with a hand-held shower head and dry the area thoroughly with a soft towel or a cool air hairdryer before getting dressed. Don? t use bubble baths, vaginal deodorants or talc, or douches.

- use sanitary towels, rather than tampons, or change tampons every 4 hours. Do not forget to remove tampons.

- eat a well-balanced diet, which includes dahi, curd, yoghurt. Follow a healthy lifestyle, since a healthy person fights infection more effectively.

- when taking antibiotics, take probiotics, such as yakult, or increase your intake of live yoghurt.

- if you are overweight, get into shape, as being overweight might cause repeated yeast infections.

- wear cotton underwear. Cotton absorbs moisture. Yeast thrives in a warm, damp atmosphere. Let your body breathe. Avoid tight-fitting jeans, lycra shorts and tights. Wear loose clothing and sleep without any undergarments at night.

- do not use any chemicals, such as douches, spermicides
19 people found this helpful

Various Infections and Their Causes

Dr. Ashutosh Kumar 90% (238 ratings)
MD - General Medicine, DTM & H
Internal Medicine Specialist, Motihari
Various Infections and Their Causes

There are many organisms that live in our bodies and on the surface of the skin. These are usually harmless and do not cause any damage. But there are many organisms like viruses, fungi and bacteria that can cause infectious disorders known as infections. There are many kinds of infections that can affect the various parts of the body. These are generally caused by various things starting from contaminated food, to transmission from an infected person and more. Read on to know more about the kind of infections and their causes.

  • Common Symptoms: The various kinds of infections usually have common symptoms including fever due the start of the immune system's fight against the infecting organism, as well as cough, cold, chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, loose motions and pain. All these symptoms point at the presence of an infection.
  • Types: As mentioned earlier, infections can be of various types. Starting from viral infections that come with the change of seasons with allergy like symptoms, to STDs or sexually transmitted disease that are contagious and can spread with sexual contact, or even throat, stomach and other kinds of infections that can occur due to ingestion of contaminated food, insect bites and much more; there are several types of infections that can afflict the various parts of the body.
  • Indirect Contact: There are many surfaces like sinks, faucets, keyboards, tables, door knobs and more, which can carry and pass on infections through contact. This is especially true for public places including public toilets which are the number one cause of UTI or urinary tract infection.
  • Insect Bites: Fleas, tick, lice and even mosquitoes are all carriers of germs because they fly from one contaminated place to another, feasting on dirty and contaminated elements. A bite from one such insect can cause infections. Also, if we ingest food on which house flies and mosquitoes have been sitting, then we are risk of contracting infections.
  • Food Contamination: Continuing from the point above, food and water contamination can lead to the travel of disease causing germs into your system which can spread infection. This can also happen when you eat old food that has not been stored under proper conditions, as there may be fungi or mould growing on it.
  • Direct Contact: One of the causes of infection includes direct causes like contact with an infected person or animal. Coughing or sneezing on someone, getting bitten by an animal, or even mother to unborn child - there are many infections that can be spread in this manner.

Getting vaccinated on time can help in preventing many infections. This is especially important if you are travelling to various countries.

3261 people found this helpful

Know More About Ear Infections!

Dr. Vineet Jain 85% (53 ratings)
DNB (ENT)
ENT Specialist, Kota
Know More About Ear Infections!

The most common ear infections happen because of bacterial or viral growth in the middle ear, the part which lies just behind the ear drum. Middle-ear infections can be very painful and children are most commonly reported in children. Most of these infections are caused by the blockage of the Eustachian tube, which connects the ear and the throat, causing the build-up of fluids and swelling. Here is a guide to the most common forms of ear infections and their symptoms, ranging from the acute to the chronic.

Acute infections have intense symptoms but can be cured with time and treatment. They generally last for shorter durations.

In Chronic cases of infections, the patient complains of recurrent symptoms multiple times. Chronic ear infections have the potential of causing permanent damage to the ear.

Symptoms reported by most patients with Ear infections:

1. Pain in the ear (Mild to severe): This is caused due to increased pressure owing to the blockage of the Eustachian tube. Collection of fluid inside the ear would increase the intensity of pain in most cases. Children will keep tugging at their ear and most likely be cranky.
2. Redness and swelling: Both of these are inevitable accompanying symptoms in case of any infection in the body.
3. Oozing of the fluids: The blockage leads to the fluid being released from the ear which can be watery, thick yellow or mixed with blood depending on the severity and type of infection.
4. Fever

5. Difficulty in sleeping.
6. In some cases when the infection spreads, difficulty in balancing the body is experienced as body balance is maintained by ears.
7. The patient might also experience increased irritability.
8. Ear infections can also cause a hearing problem if the condition continues to go untreated.

Ear infections should be promptly dealt with to prevent long-term damages. So here is what should be done when you have ear pain symptoms.

1. Consult an ENT who will prescribe pain medication as the first line of treatment.
2. After the necessary tests are done, antibiotics are prescribed in most cases by the doctor. Other medications for palliative treatment (to ease the symptoms) are administered. However in a few rare cases, the infection might be because of non-bacterial causes in which antibiotics might not cure the state.
3. In case the problem keeps recurring, one must visit the doctor again and get further tests and treatment done.

As prevention is always better than cure, care should be taken to avoid all chances of carrying the infection to your ear. Maintain cleanliness in and around, especially in the case of children. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent Specialist.

2696 people found this helpful

Pyorrhea(gums infection)

Dr. Souvagya Ranjan Kar 90% (536 ratings)
BDS
Dentist, Cuttack
Pyorrhea(gums infection) are felt with bad breath and tooth mobility.
49 people found this helpful

Loneliness and infections

Dr. Neeraj Kumar Singh 90% (142 ratings)
MD - Internal Medicine, CCMD(Diabetology), PG Course in Diabetology, ADVANCED CERTIFICATE COURSE IN DIABETES
Diabetologist, Dehradun
According to new study, national academy of sciences, suggests that loneliness can alter the immune system cells in a way that there is increases in incidence of illness.
1 person found this helpful

Prevent ear infections during cold

Dr. Rajeev Nangia 87% (613 ratings)
MBBS, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Prevent ear infections during cold
Avoid nose blowing with force when you are having severe cold.
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