Plastic Surgery Risks for Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

What are the risks for plastic surgery on a patient with rheumatoid arthritis? I am 43--I do not smoke nor drink; but I have low blood pressure, anemia, neutropenia, and throbocytopenia associated with RA. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 1

Plastic surgery risks for patient with rheumatoid arthritis?

Dear Chrysoberylcatseye,

A LOT would depend on how low these indices were, on what medications you are taking and on what procedure you were thinking of having.

You already know that anemia may be associated with cardiac risks during surgery and possible tissue damage and healing difficulties after surgery. That neutropenia may be associated with healing difficulties and higher infection rate and that and throbocytopenia may be associated with intra and postoperative bleeding. Again - a lot would depend just how low the numbers were and if they could be reversed.

A LOT of RA medications while controlling the immune system also impede the body's ability to fight infections and to heal. No safe surgery can be done as long as you require such medicines to control flaring.

Finally, the more extensive the procedure, the insertion of implants etc - all have implications.

It would be important for you to meet with several plastic surgeons and hear what they have to say to really understand your options.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD, FACS

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 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.