Surgical Care


Surgical Care Overview

Our Surgical Care department performs inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures of all types at Sweetwater's Main Campus. Our skilled surgical and support staff is here to ensure our patients and their loved ones receive the highest quality care available.

Surgical Services Resources

Patient Education Surgical Site Infections

What is a Surgical Site Infection (SSI)?

A surgical site infection is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Most patients who have surgery do not develop an infection. Some of the common symptoms of a surgical site infection are:

  • Redness and pain around the area where you had surgery
  • Drainage of cloudy fluid from your surgical wound
  • Fever
Can SSI's be treated?

Yes. Most surgical site infections can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic given to you depends on the bacteria (germs) causing the infection. Sometimes patients with SSIs also need another surgery to treat the infection.

What can be done to prevent SSI?

To prevent SSI’s doctors, nurses and other health care providers:

  • Clean their hands and arms up to the elbows with an antiseptic agent just before the surgery.
  • Clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after caring for each
  • May remove hair immediately before your surgery using electric clippers (not a razor) if the hair is in
    the same area where the procedure will occur.
  • Wear special hair covers, masks, gowns, and gloves during surgery to keep surgery area clean.
  • Give you antibiotics before surgery starts. In most cases, you should get antibiotics within 60
    minutes before the surgery starts and the antibiotics should be stopped within 24 hours after surgery.
After Your Surgery
  • Make sure that your health care providers clean their hands before examining you either with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. If you do not see your health care providers clean their hands, please ask them to do so.
  • Family and friends who visit you should not touch the surgical wound or dressings. Family and friends should clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol based hand rub before and after visiting you. If you do not see them clean their hands, ask them to clean their hands.
What should you do when you get home?

Before you go home, your doctor or nurse will explain everything you need to know about taking care of your wound. Make sure you understand how to care for your wound before you leave the hospital.

  • Always clean your hands before and after caring for your wound.
  • If you have any symptoms of an infection, such as redness and pain at the surgery site, drainage, or
    fever, call your doctor immediately.
  • If you have additional questions, please ask your doctor or nurse.


Our staff can help guide you to the right department or help you connect with a physician.