Do I have to take my piercings out before my breast augmentation?

I've read that you can't wear any jewelry during surgery because of heat conduction. I have 6 piercings on my ears and one on my navel. All of my jewelry is pure gold or surgical steel. Many of them are difficult to remove and I have to go to my piercer to get them put back in, which is inconvenient especially after having a surgery.

Doctor Answers 21

Taking jewellery off before surgery

There two kinds of cautery machines - bipolar diathermy and monopolar diathermy. Electric current is conducted from one prong of the forceps to the other prong in a bipolar forceps. Wearing jewellery when using bipolar diathermy is not an issue. However, electricity flows from the diathermy point to the diathermy pad in  monopolar diathermy. The diathermy pad is usually stuck far away from the operating site on the thigh. Metal present in this electrical path is at a risk of conducting the electricity and causing a localised burn injury. It is therefore not advisable to wear any metal jewellery during surgery of the breast, where monopolar diathermy is used to create the pocket for the implant.

Leeds Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Do I have to take my piercings out before by breast augmentation?

Thank you for your question.  While I can appreciate the inconvenience that removing some body piercings may pose, it is important that all metal piercings are removed prior to surgery to reduce the risk of skin burns.  The concern is that the electrical current generated by the bovie electrocautery system, that is often used to reduce bleeding during surgical procedures, can travel to your metal piercings rather than the grounding pad during surgery.  With that said, there are some instances where piercings cannot be removed and surgeons will place tape as a 'buffer' or sorts.I would recommend speaking with your operating surgeon to discuss your concerns and his/her specific protocol when it comes to body piercings and surgery.  I request that my patients remove all piercings pre-operatively to reduce this un-necessary risk, and in most cases these piercings can be replaced within 24 hours of your procedure.  

Stephen T. Greenberg, MD
Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Do I have to take my piercings out before my breast augmentation?


Thank you for your question. Yes you need to remove all piercings before your procedure for Breast Augmentation. 

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Piercings and surgery

Although it's possible to have surgery without removing the piercings, there's a small statistical chance that the electrical cautery tool that is used during surgery will cause a "short" that may create a burn in the location of the piercings.  The best thing is to remove them and eliminate that chance, even if it's very small.

Reza Momeni, MD FACS
Summit Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Metal Piercings removed before breast augmentation or any cosmetic surgery

Problem is risk of being burnt by the electrocatery which is needed to control risky bleeding.. Alternative is to use a balloon dissector which would cost an additional thousand dollars and you still might need electrocautery to control bleeding spots. Nipple piercings have an additional risk of nipple necrosis or lioss of nipple from swelling of the nipple. Good luck with your breast augmentation. Have you considered lip rings to create enlarged lips?

Larry Weinstein, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Piercings and Surgery

Hi there and thanks for postingMost definitely remove all piercings prior to your surgery. Regards,Richard

Richard Bloom, MBBS (Hons), FRACS
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Piercings out before breast augmentation

Thank you for your answer.  In order to perform a successful breast augmentation any piercings should be removed.    The piercings can be replaced immediately after.  

Michael K. Obeng, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Removing piercings before breast augmentation

It is advisable to remove all your piercings and replace them with plastic ones before surgery, since most PS will be using an electrocautery during surgery which conducts electrical impulses and heat.

Christopher Costanzo, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Removal of Piercing

Yes, these can be taking out just before surgery and replaced immediately afterwards.  I recommend an in-office examination as well as a detailed discussion with a surgeon who you are comfortable with and who is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Best wishes! Dr. Desai
Harvard Educated, Beverly Hills & Miami Beach Trained, Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Urmen Desai, MD, MPH, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 227 reviews

Piercing removal

Hello and thank you for your question. Unfortunately, you will need to remove them in order to avoid heat conduction during the surgery.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 121 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.