Understanding Surgical Infections

Advanced Recovery

One of the main goals after surgery is to avoid surgical infections.

It may be common to feel tired or have discomfort following surgery. Your doctor can alert you on what you may expect to feel or see. However, if postoperative infections arise, they can be serious. Doing what you can to reduce the risk of infection can help to optimize your recovery.

In general, a surgical site infection after surgery can increase the length of hospital stay by almost 10 days1,5. Studies utilizing IMPACT ® formulas found when infections are reduced, surgical patients are also discharged from the hospital sooner2.


How to help reduce your risk of surgical infections

How to help reduce your risk of surgical infections:

While much of your recovery can feel like it’s out of your hands, there are many things you can do to help your recovery:

  • Communicate with your doctor
  • Report anything that looks or feels suspicious such as redness, pain, drainage or fever
  • Keep hands away from the surgical site
  • Wash hands before and after caring for your surgical wound
  • Keep your wound protected from the sun
  • Drink IMPACT Advanced Recovery® Drink before and after major surgery to support the healing process and recovery
  • Use of IMPACT® formula resulted in fewer infections after surgery and an earlier discharge from the hospital.4,6

Ask your doctor if you need to continue to take a nutritional supplement after leaving the hospital. The BOOST® family of products offers a wide variety of options to provide additional calories and protein.

Risk of Surgical Site Infections

Surgical Site Infections, which your doctor may refer to as "SSls", are infections of the skin and/or tissues around where the surgery took place. SSIs may be on the surface or deep, and they may also affect the space in between organs.

These infections are a major source of postoperative illness, and account for 1/4 of all hospital-acquired infections. They could put you at risk for a longer recovery - increasing your time in the hospital or increasing your chances of having to return to the hospital.

Unique blend of nutrients to support your surgery recovery

Only IMPACT Advanced Recovery® Drink contains a unique blend of 3 key nutrients proven to help reduce the risk of infections after major surgery.

  • Arginine, Supports the immune system and helps increase blood flow to your surgical wound, supporting the healing process1-3

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (from fish oils): Help to lessen the stress on your body from surgery, by managing inflammation

  • Dietary Nucleotides: Help to rebuild immune cells, whose function is to help fight infection

What Surgeries Can IMPACT Advanced 
Recovery® Drink be Helpful For?

There are many types of surgeries performed each year. If you're undergoing major surgery, a specially formulated immunonutrition drink like IMPACT Advanced Recovery® Drink can support your body's immune function and promote better outcomes.

IMPACT Advanced Recovery® Drink is proven to reduce the risk of infections after major surgery and has been studied in the following types of patients:

  • Cardiac Surgery

    Including: Heart Surgery, Valve Replacement, Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Surgery

    Including: Pancreas Surgery (Pancreatectomy, Whipple Procedure), Stomach Surgery (Gastrectomy), Esophagus Surgery (Esophagectomy), Colon Surgery (Colorectal Surgery)

  • Gynecological Oncology Surgery

    Including: Uterus Removal (Hysterectomy)

  • Head and Neck Surgery

    Including: Oral Cancer Surgery and surgeries for Laryngeal and Oropharyngeal Cancers


  • Bladder Cancer Surgery

    Including: Cystectomy and Radical Cystectomy (Bladder Removal)

  • Ventral Hernia Repair
  • Orthopedic Surgery

    Including: Total Hip, Knee and Shoulder Arthroplasty (replacement)

  • Non-Small cell Lung Cancer Surgery


  1. Farreras N et al. Clin Nutr 2005;24:55-65.
  2. Braga M et al. Surg 2002;132:805-14.
  3. Chow O and Barbul A. Adv Wound Care 2014;3(1):46-53.
  4. Drover JW et al. J Am Coll Surg 2011;212(3): 385-399. 2.
  5. Ban KA et al. J Am Coll Surg 2017;224(1): 59-74.  
  6. Waitzberg DL et al. World J Surg 2006;30:1592-1604.