High hemoglobin and going to presurgical testing for complete mastectomy. Am I safe to get the surgery with elevated hemoglobin?

I have high hemoglobin and am scheduled for pre-surgical testing for a simple complete mastectomy tomorrow. Am I safe to get the surgery with elevated hemoglobin?

Doctor Answers 2

High Hemoglobin significance

Most of the time, we would be concerned about a LOW hemoglobin, because if blood is lost from surgery, we don't want it dipping too low and affecting your oxygenation, health, and healing. High hemoblobin levels can be from a variety of reasons - most commonly, dehydration, where it is artificially high because the blood is concentrated. The second main reason hemoglobin may be high would be found in people exposed to long term low oxygen levels such as smokers and people who live at high altitudes where there is less oxygen in the air. More than likely it will not affect your surgery one bit (that is, unless its because you have a smoking history..) but how high it is above normal and why its elevated is an important factor.

Elevated hemoglobin

An elevated hemoglobin can mean a lot of things, but several are not usually a problem to proceed with surgery. You need to review it with your medical doctor and surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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