Candidate For Breast Lift/Aug with Lipo? I Have COPD

After having an MRI I discovered I have a leaking implant. I have had COPD the past few years from getting pnuemonia 2 times back to back and a history of smoking. Although I have not smoked for several years. I do work out and lift weights (30-60 lbs) 3x week and walk a mile almost every day. Am I a good candidate? I've been to a couple of Surgeons. At first encouraged surgery and then cancelled on me in the last minute. I'm frustrated and don't want to resort to a 2nd rate surgeon.

Doctor Answers 10

COPD under good control should not preclude plastic surgery for you

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You give a good history in your question for both your planned procedure and for your current COPD symptoms. Your COPD seems to be under good control given your level of physical activity, and the procedures you are requesting are very likely reasonable in your case.

I agree that having a pulmonary evaluation makes sense, and certainly your procedure should be performed in a licensed, accredited surgical facility. If there is any question of needing to be followed the night after surgery in the hospital, your procedure would need to be performed in a hospital setting.

We perform our outpatient surgeries in our state licensed ambulatory surgery center, and have had many patients with well-controlled medical issues such as mild COPD.

Hope this helps,

Nick Slenkovich MD, FACS

Breast Surgery with COPD

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In my opinion the Breast Lift is the concern here.  You can replace the implants without problems but when you start shifting tissues around with a Breast Lift that's when you can have blood supply problems  resulting in skin loss as well as healing problems. 

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Surgery with COPD?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This surgery does not have to be performed with general anesthesia. You can have IV sedation and local anesthesia. Please seek out a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area and he will communicate with your own physician about your COPD.

William D. Merkel, MD
Grand Junction Plastic Surgeon

Cleared for surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In my practice, I get medical clearance for my patients with  medical conditions (such as COPD).  Clear communication with your surgeon is important.  I agree that if surgery was cancelled by your surgeon, it was probably for your safety.

Augmentation With COPD

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Since you are able to work out and walk a mile daily, your COPD must be fairly mild and should not present a problem with having your ruptured implant replaced.  I agree with checking with your pulmonologist for his/her input.  If you are not a good candidate for general anesthesia, the procedure can be performed under local/sedation.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Can I have a cosmetic procedure if I have medical problems?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
In order to have a cosmetic procedure your medical problems have to be well controlled. A board certified plastic surgeon will consult with your physicians for clearance to undergo an elective procedure. Safety first!

You will need clearance from your pulmonologist

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If your surgeon has canceled your surgery, please do not be upset . He or she wants to make sure that you will be OK after surgery. Your implants may have leak but there is no reason to rush it. Find a board certified plastic surgeon to help you.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Medical issues and cosmetic surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You may benefit from a breast augmentation and lift and possibly some liposuction but need to be in reasonable medical shape in order to undergo the surgery itself. This would require medical clearance from a pulmonologist and possibly another physician depending on other medical conditions. The proposed surgery is purely elective so you want to make sure that you are dealing with manageable risks. COPD (mild) by itself won't necessarily prevent you from having the surgery.

You definitely don't want to go to a second rate doctor because they are the only one who will operate on you...!

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast Implant Exchange

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

From your history , it seems to me that open capsulectomy with removal of implant material and placement of a new implant should not be dangerous at all.  A board certified plastic surgeon operating in a fully accredited facility are important.  Pre surgical "clearance" from your pulmonologist with any special recommendations may be in order, and the anesthesiologist should be aware.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

COPD and Elective Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

COPD does not prevent you from having surgery- it just means that there are precautions that must be taken including proper medical clearance and anesthesia recommendations.  In my center the anesthesiologist will confer with your pulmonologist as to the best course of treatment for you as the issue is more the anesthesia then the surgery.  There is a chance that the medical team will recommend that your surgery be done in the hospital.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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.