Postoperative fever in patients undergoing elective surgeries-etiology, investigations, management: a longitudinal study

Shreya Sarkar, Bapuji Shravan Gedam


Background: Fever is rise in core body temperature above normal diurnal variations. Surgical procedures often disturb normal physiological process and one such manifestation is rise in body temperature. Present study was conducted to study the etiology of post-operative fever, correlation of etiology of fever with post-operative day of onset of fever and to study the investigations of postoperative fever.

Methods: This study was conducted over a period of 24 months from 1st November 2017 to 31st October 2019 at Department of Surgery at a tertiary care hospital. A total of 339 patients were enrolled. Data analysis done using descriptive statistics and continuous variables were analyzed using Chi square test.

Results: Out of 339 patients of post-operative fever, 207 patients (61%) were in age group of >20-50 years. Mean age was 44.56 years. Male to female ratio was 1.4:1. Maximum incidence of fever were seen after spinal anesthesia. It was observed that the incidence increases as the operative time increases. Incidence were more during months of summer. Around 88.49% developed pyrexia within 48 hours of surgery where no detectable infection was noted. Rest 11.5% had fever after 48 hours of surgery where the causes were UTI (7.4 %), superficial thrombophlebitis (6.8%) or SSI (4.7%). None developed chest infections or DVT.

Conclusions: Fever in postoperative period is common in elective clean surgical procedures, likely due to surgical trauma in the first 2 days and patients should be closely monitored. Fever after 48 hours should be investigated for the cause and treated accordingly.


Fever, Postoperative, Surgical procedures

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