Lingering cough from cold/flu a month ago and having Breast implant removal and lift?

I wanted the opinion from plastic surgeons please? if I'm having implant removel and lift but was sick with cold/flu one month ago and stil have a lingering cough with little phlegm. Is it ok to have surgery in two weeks? I have no fever but went to pre op and they said my white blood count was raised a little. If I continue to cough they can proscribe me antibiotics the weeks before? Is that wise to do or should I post pone the surgery. ?

Doctor Answers 8

Cough before surgery

Thank you for your question.  I recommend that you contact your surgeon's office and also see your primary care for evaluation.  

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 161 reviews

Lingering cough

It is best to have an evaluation by your primary care doctor who can prescribe medication if it is needed.  Two weeks seems like it should be ample time for you to recover, but if your blood counts aren't normal it is worth considering rescheduling the surgery.  

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


Your medical doctor will be the best one to give you advice about proceeding with elective surgery while still coughing. If your white count is still elevated, it would probably be best to postpone surgery.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Lingering cough from cold/flu a month ago and having Breast implant removal and lift?

Contact your surgeon to reschedule your surgery.  This is not emergency surgery so it can wait until you are well.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Removing implant and getting a lift

Removing implants and getting a lift does not require you to be a 100 %; anesthesia risks require you not to be congested though.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Upper respiratory infection - ok to have surgery?

Thank you for asking about your breast implant removal and lift.

  • This is something your own plastic surgeon has to evaluate.
  • S/he may have the anesthesiologist see you as well.
  • An elevated white count may mean you have a persistent bacterial infection 
  • If so, you should not have surgery.
  • If you were my patient, I would see you myself, have a sputum culture done of the phlegm, talk with the anesthesiologist and perhaps do a chest x-ray before you have surgery.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

How sick is too sick for surgery?

bummer about your cough, but post viral bronchitis is very common and should generally not keep you from surgery. However, the fact that your white blood count is a little high is troublesome as it should not elevate w/ viral episodes, only bacterial, which antibiotics would help. Best to see your primary care doctor to see if he/she thinks this is post-viral (short steroid pulse will help) or bacterial (needs antibiotics). 

Given that you are getting your implants removed (not replaced) with a lift, there is definitely less risk from a plastic surgery standpoint as the most disasterous consquence for us would be a device infection. 

Lily Lee, MD
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Lingering cough from cold/flu a month ago and having Breast implant removal and lift?

I am sorry to hear about the lingering upper respiratory concerns.  You and your plastic surgeon will want to have you be at your best (from the overall health and pulmonary standpoint) prior to undergoing breast surgery.  Given that you have a productive cough and elevated white blood count, you should not proceed with surgery now but with appropriate treatment, you may be able to proceed two weeks from now.  See if your primary care or internist recommends the use of antibiotics based on your clinical situation.

 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,503 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.