Is it Safe to Go Back on Birth Control Before Mommy Makeover?

I am due in March and have scheduled a mommy makeover in August. Breast lift, tummy tuck, lipo, and possibly implants. Is it safe to go back on birth control before such a major surgery? Is there any I should avoid? I would like to try something that is long term such as the Mirena IUD but I am concerned about blood cloths

Doctor Answers 15

Birth Control Pills and Mommy Makeover Surgery

The major risk of taking Birth Control Pills (BCP) around the time of your surgery is that it increases the possibility that clots that can form in your veins (deep venous thrombosis) and can travel to your lungs (pulmonary embolus) which is very serious and can even cause death. The biggest risk is if you have your surgery withing the first year of (re)starting BCP, and especially if you have risk factors for clotting - such as a genetic tendency, smoker, certain medical conditions, prior history of a clot, etc). In my own practice I would instruct you to not take BCP if within a year prior to  your surgery and use an alternate method of birth control. If you have been on them more than a year without risk factors, I would still make you aware of the increased risk and  recommend that you discuss this risk and ask advice from your gynecologist or PCP who prescribed this medication

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Oral Contraceptives Increase the Risk of Blood Clots after Surgery

Oral contraceptives can increase your risk of blood clots after major surgery. I generally don't think the risk is significant for a smaller procedures such as breast augmentation. The mommy makeover combination of breast augmentation, breast lift, abdominoplasty and possibly liposuction is a bigger procedure and has increased risks of blood clots. For this reason I recommend that my patients use an alternative form of birth control for a month before and after surgery.

John Squires, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Birth control and mommy make-over

Great question!  Studies show that birth control pills do statistically increase your risk of having a blood clot - either in the legs or in the lungs.

So, in terms of doing the safest possible operation - you would want to avoid being on the birth control pill around the time of your surgery.

All the best!

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Starting birth control before a mommy makeover.

There is some evidence that oral contraceptives can increase the risks of blood clots postoperatively.  While I generally do not stop birth control for this surgery we take special precautions to minimize the risks of blood clots such as compressive boots  as well as a low dose of a blood thinner during the surgery.

For patients who continue their hormone based birth control through surgery we still recommend additional contraception because surgery can change the hormonal cycle and may increase the risk of pregnancy.

Since you're not on oral contraception now in your surgery date is coming up it may make more sense to wait until after your surgery.

If you wish to consider an IUD that may be a better alternative if you wish to start sooner, but let your plastic surgeon know what you are considering. I do not believe that IUD carries a higher risk of blood clots but this is something that you should discuss with your obstetrician.

Good luck with your upcoming surgery.


Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Is it Safe to Go Back on Birth Control Before Mommy Makeover?

There are risks of blood clots that are higher when on oral contraceptives and in a Mommy Makeover, the number of procedures performed during   the surgery is high. You might want to ask your obstetrician if there is another form of birth control you can use until after the surgery that would have less risk than other types.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Birth Control, Blood Clots, and Aesthetic Surgery

Hi there-

You are right to be a bit concerned... Here are the facts:

  1. Hormonally based birth control necessarily increases the risk of developing a blood clot.
  2. Longer operations, and operations in the abdominal area also increase the risk of blood clots
  3. The risk is highest within the first month or so after resuming the birth control.

So what is the right thing to do?

Well, consider that what you are talking about is, after all, elective surgery. It's not as though you have cancer and need to accept whatever risk there is in order to have a chance at survival. It's cosmetic surgery.

So what makes the most sense to me (as long as it's acceptable to my patient) is to make all risks as low as they can possibly be. We want your cosmetic surgery experience to be as worry and problem free as it can possibly be, right? This would mean not resuming your hormonally based birth control until after your recovery period.

Please discuss this with your husband or partner, your GYN, and your plastic surgeon to see what plan would be best for you.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Birth control and major surgery.

There are a lot of concerns regarding birth control and general anesthesia in regards to blood clots. Certainly, we know that women over the age of 35 and particularly smokers who take oral contraceptive pills have a higher rate of deep vein thromboses. The safest answer is to avoid oral contraceptives altogether. As for IUD devices, this is a question for you OB/Gyn. On another note, scheduling a mommy-makeover 5 months after your childbirth seems a bit rushed. Particularly any breast surgery if you plan on breastfeeding at all. I recommend waiting at least a year and attempting to achieve your prepregnancy weight before any contouring surgery for the best results.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Concern about BCP and Mommy Makeover

This is an excellent question and the answers will be quite variable as there is no one good answer. The pros and cons need to be weighed. BCP do increase the risk for clots in the legs and ultimately even the lungs (pulmonary embolism), which is a very significant complication.

You need to discuss this issue with your operating physician and even your primary care doctor and OB-Gyn. 

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Birth Control Pill and Mommy Makeover

A risk of having surgery while on birth control pill is the development of clots in your legs.  Discuss this specifically with your plastic surgeon prior to undergoing any major surgery. Steps can be taken before, during, and after surgery to help prevent this. It is not mandatory the you stop birth control pills.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 181 reviews

Birth Control Pills

As you can tell from the previous responses there is a variation of opinion.  I used to not ask patients to stop birth control pills but after having a patient who was taking birth control pills have a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and some data showing possibly a 7 fold increase in DVT risk in patients taking birth control pills I now ask patients to stop them about a month before surgery.  Especially for higher risk surgery like an abdominoplasty it would be highly advisable to stop hormone therapy since a DVT can kill you.

Gary Hall,MD

Gary Hall, MD (retired)
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 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.