Curious about dermal on my chest. What are the chances of being able to keep it during surgery for breast augmentation? (Photo)

I have an appointment on October 4 for a consultation. I thought I'd ask here first. I have a dermal piercing on my chest which is considered permanent and would need to be cut out if dr needs removed, what are the chances of me being able to keep it during surgery for a breast augmentation...

Doctor Answers 7

Dermal implants with breast augmentation

I don't believe there is any good reason to remove dermals prior to surgery. They can be cleaned and covered and considerations of the electric current used for the procedure have largely disappeared with new technology. Of course, you need to check with your own plastic surgeon, but I would expect that there would be no extra reason for concern.


Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

You can keep your demal in place during breast augmentation!

I routinely operate on patients with dermals, and simply scrub them well with our surgical prep, then use an appropriate-sized Tegaderm to cover them for surgery. Yours is sufficiently out-of-the-way to not worry about contamination. Cautery burns are not an issue if your surgeon stays away from the dermal. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 239 reviews

Dermal piercing

It is advisable to remove all metal including piercings prior to surgery.  However if you discuss the situation with the surgeon he/she may feel comfortable having you keep it in.  There is a low risk of burns and a small increased risk of infection.  There are measures that can be taken to further minimize these risks.  Ask your surgeon's preference.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Dermal piercings

It is recommended that all body piercings and earrings are removed before any surgical procedure.  They are all contaminated and colonized with bacteria, so they increase the chance of infection.  Also, any metal can conduct electricity, during surgery an electrosurgical device is used to coagulate blood vessels.  If the device would contact or arc during the surgery, the dermal site will sustain a burn with subsequent scarring.Dermal piercings are not permanent, they consist of 2 parts: an anchor base and the decorative jewelry that screws into the base.  The jewelry can be unscrewed before a surgical procedure and replaced after the surgery is finished.  The base anchor would need to be removed surgically (local anesthesia) and will leave a scar when healed. The best choice would be to have the entire device removed.  Second choice would be to remove the jewelry only and the third choice would be leave the piercing alone and cover it during the surgery to decrease the chance of infection and cautery burn.  Every surgeon's opinion is different regarding their treatment of body piercings.Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Curious about dermal on my chest.

It should not be a problem to keep the dermal in place. There may be a slight increased risk of infection, but pretty minimal. The risk of a burn from the cautery does not exist unless the surgeon either touches the dermal or somehow grounds it, which would be pretty difficult. Basically no more risk than from earrings or other piercings.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast augmentation - can the dermal piercing stay in during surgery?

Thank you for asking about your breast augmentation.
  • The decision will be that of your plastic surgeon and the anesthesiologist - and yours.
  • The risk of keeping it in is low - but there is a risk of a burn around the piercing by transmission of the electricity used in cautery.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Curious about dermal on my chest. What are the chances of being able to keep it during surgery for breast augmentation?

Thank you for sharing your question and photograph.  The official recommendation would be to have any metal piercings or dermals removed prior to your surgery as the risk for a possible burn exists with the electrocautery device used to control any bleeding, but this theoretical risk is likely quite low.  Talk to your surgeon about the risks of maintaining your dermal in place so that you can make the appropriate choice for yourself.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.