I suffered a pulmonary embolism in January of 2009. I am otherwise an extremely healthy, very active 28, 120lb year old woman. I work out regularly, have no other health conditions, no family history of blood clots. Should this serve as a detterent from pursuing cosmetic procedures? Currently I am contemplating lipsuction and/or breast augmentation. Non-surgical I'm thinking about fraxel and laser hair removal. Any advice is appreciated!
Pulmonary Embolism 2 Years Ago - Contraindication for Plastic Surgery?
Doctor Answers 4
Pulmonary embolism and future surgery
First, you have to figure out why you got the PE in the first place. Second you would need a thorough work-up with a hematologist and then if deemed safe, a discussion and pre-op plan should be determined in conjunction with your hematologist and plastic surgeon.
EMbolism and risk for future surgery
Dr. Stone is correct: why you had the embolism is as important as the fact you had one. For relatively non-invasive procedures of limited scope (breast augmentation, rhinoplasty) your history will not be a significant factor provided some precautions are taken. A hematologist should evaluate you for any clotting disorders such as Factor V deficiency. You surgeon will want to follow the advice of a hematologist and will most likely put you on an injectable blood thinner (lovenox) for a few weeks after your procedure. How much and how long would be determined by the type of procedure and your hematologist.
Pulmonay embolism and patient safety
Once you have had a pulmonary embolism you are at greater risk of having another than the general population. It is crucial that you inform your prospective plastic surgeon of this prior to any surgery. Do not hide it from your surgeon with the idea that if he/she knows about it they will not do the surgery.
Why you had the embolus is as important as the fact that you had it. Was the clot formation related to a pregnancy? Did it travel to the lungs through a hole between the right and left sides of your heart? Did the clot form in diseased leg veins? Did they put a clot filter in your vena cava? You will definitely need medical clearance before surgery. You will likely need prophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin before surgery. You and your surgeon need to consider doing the surgery in a hospital. That is the long answer. The short answer is you should not be deterred from having cosmetic surgery but you need to take extra precautions to ensure a safe and smooth recovery.
This history has no bearing on non-invasive treatments like fraxel laser, laser hair removal, dermal fillers, botox etc. unless you are curently on anticoagulant blood thinners.
My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.
Surgery after PE
Non surgical treatments are not a problem. You would need medical clearance by your hematologist for any surgical treatments. They probably would recommend anticoagulants during the postop period. There is a higher risk of blood clots and pulmonary emboli with previous history. Donald R Nunn MD Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.