Bacterial and viral infections
Infection impacts upon surgical practice in two main ways. First, many of the conditions treated by the surgeon are caused by infection, commonly bacterial but occasionally with other organisms. Second, safe surgical treatment is only possible if peri-operative infection is eliminated or controlled. It is nowadays taken for granted that operations are carried out in a clean environment rendered so by sterilization. However, as many infections come from organisms carried by the patient, infection remains a constant risk.