I have been in lupus remission for 5 years, of Asian background and I have been thinking of getting a Rhinoplasty for some time. Is it permitted as long as my rheumatologist allows for it?
Can a Lupus Patient Undergo Rhinoplasty?
Doctor Answers 5
Lupus patients are candidates for Rhinoplasty
I have operated on patients w/ collagen vascular disease, including Lupus, without complications. (The more significant condition to be mindful of is Raynaud's Syndrome, which is distinctly different from Lupus, and affects small blood vessesls and microcirculation.) As always, medical control of the condition and proper care by a Rheumatologist is required before elective facial surgery.
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No contraindication to performing a rhinoplasty with lupus that is in remission.
It is always a good idea to have your rheumatologist give the okay prior to embarking on elective cosmetic surgery, though the lupus should not present any problems with regards to healing, and there is no contraindication to performing a rhinoplasty with lupus that is in remission.
Check your FANA
If your disease is under control, your rheumatologist approves surgery AND your FANA (florescent anti-nuclear antibody) test comes back reasonably low, then surgery might be OK. However, that does not guarantee you will not have any healing problems; it just makes it less likely there will be problems.
The test is extremely important. If it comes back high, it might indicate a resurgence of disease activity. If this happens you should wait until the disease subsides and the FANA returns to a low level again. Otherwise you could have some very difficult healing problems.
We operate on many patients with lupus as long as the above criteria are met. However, even your immediate family members who do not exhibit signs of Lupus (brothers, sisters, parents, children) should be tested before undergoing a rhinoplasty, septoplasty, or Facelift. They might have a sub clinical case (no physical signs or symptoms of Lupus) that would put them at healing risk for this kind of surgery.
One more point. There are different names used by various laboratories for the FANA test. Your rheumatologist will know what to order.
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Lupus patients can have rhinoplasty
Most chronic conditions that are well controlled do not preclude cosmetic surgery and lupus is one of them. We advise all patients who are under a physicians care or require prescription medication to see their primary care physician and discuss their plan for elective cosmetic surgery. Our primary care colleagues are more supportive than most would think, and can be an important partner is seeing you through a cosmetic procedure. They will help you be at your best and identify any potential problems before they occur.
Best of luck,