What happens if you get sick with a cough or cold before surgery?

Im really concerned since my surgery is January 7.. a lot of people get sick in the winter.. so im really worried about getting sick before my surgery since my doctors papers have a warning about getting a cough or cold... If i get a cough or cold will my surgery be cancelled? or is it only for REALLY bad coughs.. like one that you need to go to the Dr. for because its so bad?

Doctor Answers 57

Your surgeon may choose to re-schedule...

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It’s not unusual for pre-operative breast augmentation
patients to develop cough and cold symptoms during the winter months of the
year. When this situation arises,
patients should be carefully evaluated by both their plastic surgeon and
colds are minor, it’s probably reasonable to proceed with breast augmentation
surgery.Colds and coughs that are
associated with elevated temperatures, sputum production, signs of influenza,
wheezing and signs of generalized illness should result in cancellation of the
these circumstances, illnesses can progress and significantly complicate the
post-operative course.In some cases,
secondary complications such as pneumonia, infection, bleeding and hematoma
could result.In addition, a chronic
cough can create significant discomfort in the post-operative period.
these reasons, it’s occasionally necessary to cancel breast augmentation
procedures and re-schedule at a later date.It’s important to remember that safety should always be everyone’s first

Too sick with a cold for surgery?

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It's always good to be in your best health when undergoing surgery. It's important to keep in mind that Cosmetic Surgery is elective surgery, it doesn't have to be done ASAP. It's also important for you to let your surgeon know about your cough or cold so that they can determine if you are in good enough health to undergo your procedure. If your surgeon decides to postpone the surgery, keep in mind that they are doing so for YOUR safety. 

Best to be as healthy as possible before surgery

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Elective cosmetic surgery should be performed with as minimal risk as possible. Therefore, it is best to be healthy before your surgery. If you happen to develop a cough or cold before surgery with fever your procedure may need to postponed. The risks are that your cold can worsen due to the stress of anesthesia and surgery or worse that you could rarely develop an infection at your surgery site.

Your plastic surgeon, internist and/or anesthesia provider can help determine if postponement is necessary.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

It's important to be healthy on the day of your surgery.

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Just because you’ve scheduled surgery for a particular date doesn’t mean it’s set in stone - your health should always come first. Breast augmentation is an elective cosmetic procedure, so if you get sick before surgery then you should absolutely let your plastic surgeon or anesthesiologist know. Based on the severity and duration of the symptoms they will decide to either move forward or postpone the operation until you feel better. Very minor symptoms shouldn’t be a problem but ultimately, it’s up to the surgical team to make that call.

I hope that answers your question. It’s great that you’re doing this research. I always say that the best patients are informed patients.

Thank you for reading and best of luck on your journey!

Sick before a cosmetic surgery. Canceled

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Thank you for sharing your doubts with us.  Getting sick before a cosmetic surgery is not always a good thing.  Remember these are all electives surgeries and that for you have to be in optimal health conditions for better outcomes. 

Have a great day,  Best of Luck. 

Dr. Derby Sang Caputo, MD. 
Plastic Surgeon / Dominican Republic 

Cold or cough before surgery

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In my opinion, getting a viral illness, like the common cold, is a definite reason to reschedule surgery. Comestic surgery is elective, and you want to be in perfect health before undergoing general anesthesia and optimize your recovery and minimize your risk for complications related to anesthesia, like pneumonia. Going to sleep under general anesthesia collapses some of the alveoli in your lungs, which in turn decrease the amount of oxygen you breath, and may increase your chances for pneumonia. An any case, I recommend discussing your symptoms with your plastic surgeon.  

Getting sick before surgery

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Regular hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick.  Personally, I am also a fan of Vitamin C to help ward off colds although the evidence is thin.  If you get “sick” before your surgery, it is really a matter of degree.  Typically the anesthesiologist will evaluate you on the day of surgery to determine the best course of action.

*Opinions stated here are only opinions. They are not based on a clinical exam which is recommended.

Sick before surgery

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Do your best to stay healthy and stay away from other sick people.  If you do have an illness it is best to notify your treating surgeon as soon as possible. Stay healthy and best of luck with your operation.  

Dr. Cho

David Cho, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon

Good health is the priority

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Thank you for your question! Being ill prior to any surgery could possibly result in rescheduling it. It is crucial to make your health the number one priority, always. I recommend contacting your board certified surgeon as soon as you start experiencing symptoms for them to make an educated and safe decision. 

Best Wishes!

How to manage a cold before breast implant surgery

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It is not a common to catch a cold or develop a cough before breast implant surgery. Nervous stress lowers the immune system and makes you more susceptible to both minor viral and bacterial colds and coughs. The question of wether to proceed with surgery or not is reasonable. General precautions to take would be to call the surgeon at the first signs of a cold, you may be a candidate for antibiotics before surgery. High fever, severe cough or congestion or increases in asthma would generally lead to cancelation of the case. Remember that this is an elective case and some upper respiratory infections or colds lead to increase risk of anesthesia complications. Also, remember that when you are having an implant placed, of any type, the risk of contamination is higher when you are sick. There is increasing evidence that systemic colds and illnesses may adversely affect the long term rate of implants hardening and contracting. It is best to get plenty of sleep and keep stress levels low before surgery. At the first sign of a cold over the counter remedies like Zicam and other zinc containing products and vitamin  C may help. Surgeons should be giving patients a dose of IV antibiotics immediately before the surgery, as well. so usually minor colds without fever and cough are ok to proceed. There is no set rule however, and it is best to call your doctors office. Good luck.

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.