People undergo surgery for various reasons. Some wanted to trim down their extra fat reserves, while others have it as part of treatment from a certain medical condition. From minor wound stitching to major abdominal openings, surely one might need it to sustain health and life.
When someone undergoes a surgery, usually a surgical wound or incision (cut) in the skin is done by a surgeon (physical specialized in surgery) during surgery that to remove a body part, repair injured internal tissues or as a portal for an internal exploration of the body to diagnose and/or treat a certain disease.
Moreover, a cut or incision means there is a wound or a break down in skin integrity. The primary purpose is diagnosis and treatment; however, sometimes things get loose out of control. The incision may become infected due to some factors and this makes the surgical patient suffer more than the pain from the surgical cut.
One of the most common causative agents of surgical wound infection is the yeast Candida albicans. This is an opportunistic fungus that naturally exists in the skin but does not cause immediate infection as long as their population is in balance with the probiotics (good bacteria). However, even if the number of C. albicans in the skin is at its healthy level, presence of any form of skin break down like abrasions, wounds or even clean incisions provide an opportunity for the aforementioned fungus to invade the deep tissues underneath the skin and cause yeast infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Surgical Wound Yeast Infection
Often times, the presenting symptoms of yeast infection in surgical wounds include reddish to purple rashes around the wound with white raised, itchy patches caused by the colonization of Candida in the wound. Other manifestations of the infection are as follows:
- Intense pain in surgical site
- Malodorous wound discharge (pus)
- Increased swelling of the site
- Wound site that is warm to touch
Most of these symptoms are localized but yeast infection can become extensive as becoming systemic when the fungus descends to the deeper tissues from the surgical wound. It may reach the blood stream and cause systemic yeast infection called Candidaemia, which are often fatal.
The cause of this wound fungal infection is often improper wound care. However, one must also consider that yeasts are part of the microflora in the skin and they are opportunistic by nature. When a point of entry is present through the skin like surgical cut, the yeasts would definitely migrate into the wound and cause yeast infection. But the possibility of acquiring surgical wound Candida infection is also dependent on the condition of the body of the person, particularly on one’s immune system and those people with vulnerable resistance are at higher risk of becoming infected. In fact, elderly and individuals with Cancer, HIV and other conditions that causes immunosuppression are not advisable to undergo surgery due to the risk of having surgical complications including yeast infection that are most likely to occur when a person is immunocompromised.
However, surgical procedures are done with proper assessment from health care experts, particularly surgeons. Surgeries are meant to prolong an individual’s life by alleviating the progress of specific diseases. Contracting a wound infection is not a result of these procedures but is a complication that might arise in the presence of some factors such as mishandling of surgical site, weak immune system and other conditions that persuades proliferation and colonization of yeasts in the surgical site. Besides, as much as possible health care professionals implement medical interventions that aim to eliminate factors that would risk a surgical patient to acquire complications like yeast infection.