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 54

Your surgeon may choose to re-schedule...

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
anesthesiologist.
When
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
procedure.
Under
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.
For
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
priority.


Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Too sick with a cold for surgery?

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. 

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Best to be as healthy as possible before surgery

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 76 reviews

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

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!

William Rahal, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Sick before surgery

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Good health is the priority

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!

Morgan E. Norris, III, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

How to manage a cold before breast implant surgery

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.

Daniel Bortnick, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

If you get sick before cosmetic surgery it is better to postpone your operation

Thank you for your question. In my opinion, cosmetic surgery is an elective procedure and should be done under ideal condition. It is best to wait until your symptom free before undergoing surgery. Make sure you notify your surgeon as well as your anesthesiologist of your symptoms. Better be safe than sorry.

I hope this helps. Best wishes. Dr. Salameh (Plastic surgeon - Bowling Green, KY)

Bernard S. Salameh, MD
Bowling Green Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Illness before surgery

Thank you for your question and this is a common concern.

As plastic surgeons we want you to get a fantastic result from your surgery, but our first priority is your health and safety. I perform breast augmentation surgery under general anaesthesia. The anaesthetist will monitor your heart and lungs carefully during the procedure.

If you are unwell with some sort of bacterial infection, it would be unwise to place a foreign material, such as a breast implant, into your body, as germs may travel in your bloodstream and infect the implant. If you are recovering from a cold or have a cough, I will be guided by my anaesthetist as to your fitness for surgery. If there are doubts, the safe thing to do is to wait until you are completely well.

Your safety and welfare always comes first. The surgery can come a little later if needs be.

Damian Marucci, MBBS, PhD, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Sickness prior to surgery

The main concern about an illness prior to surgery is the risk of increasing complications at the time of surgery, especially regarding the anesthesia. Without going into excessive detail,  there are a myriad of issues regarding a health issue at the time of elective surgery. Minor issues, such as a minimal, non-productive cough can be overlooked in many cases.

All the best,

Talmage Raine MD


Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 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.