I Have a Mild Productive Cough, Tummy Tuck in 3 Days! Should I Reschedule Surgery?

I have been coughing over a week now with a sore throat , it was bad and it felt like I was coughing up my toenails, cough is productive clear and now its just mild , lungs clear, no fever occ sneeze .. sore throat s gone.. I feel fine... I'm just worried I will be coughing after procedure and make things worse!!!!should I reschedule ???

Doctor Answers 18

Should I delay my surgery due to cough?

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Your health and safety are the primary concern.  For this reason, I would recommend delaying surgery until you are fully recovered.  Having cold symptoms (even just a cough) increases your risk during anesthesia.  General anesthesia involves the use of a ventilator.  Having cold symptoms -especially a productive cough - can make breathing for you difficult.  It can also increase your risk of anesthesia complications after the surgery.  Additionally, coughing will be VERY painful after tummy tuck.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 557 reviews

Speak with your Surgeon

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Ideally you would like to have your surgery when you are healthy and cough free, a cough can affect your comfort level during recovery. Whether or not you have surgery with symptoms should be dicussed with your surgeon. Good luck you!

Delaying tummy tuck for a cough

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I am glad that you are feeling better but coughing is problematic after tummy tuck. I am surprised that your surgeon isn't already cognizant of the situation because your prep blood values should have reflected a viral condition. If the coughing has over, then your virus may have run its course and then would not pose a problem. This should be discussed with your plastic surgeon as soon as possible.

Reschedule surgery until you feel better

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You definitely want to be at your best health prior to any elective plastic surgical procedure.  Coughing after an abdominoplasty will be painful.  Most anesthesiologist will not proceed with an abdominoplasty if you have a fever and productive cough, the risks are just too high.   Wait until you feel better and are in a better position to recover after the surgery.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Coughing after Tummy Tuck

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   If a cough is still present, this will increase the pain you will experience after tummy tuck.  You should discuss this with your surgeon and come to a decision on this.

I have a mild productive cough, tummy tuck in three days! Should I reschedule surgery?

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I would definitely call your board certified plastic surgeon. He or she should be notified. You may also want to speak to your anesthesiologist. If your cough is indeed productive, it may be worthwhile starting antibiotics immediately. If I were your plastic surgeon, I probably would reschedule the case. Potential complication could include developing or worsening a pneumonia. The breathing machine used during general anesthesia for your abdominoplasty may worsen your lung condition. You would have to take extended antibiotics for a pneumonia. Another significant problem you may have if the cough continues, is severe abdominal pain while coughing. Coughing could significantly disrupt the rectus abdominus or six pack muscle repair. Coughing could also interrupt the incision. Bottom line, I do not think it is worth it to rush into a tummy tuck with a productive cough. Hope this helps. Good luck with your surgery. Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Coughing not good after tummy tuck.

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The muscle repair in a tummy tuck is put under a lot of strain with a lot of coughing, and can pull apart.  Maybe you should re-schedule.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

A Productive Cough, A Good Reason to Delay your Tummy Tuck

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Most tummy tuck procedures involve tightening the lining of your abdominal muscles.  This is known as abdominal fascial tightening.  A cough presents several problems.  First, general anesthesia may be contraindicated for an elective procedure if you have a productive cough or respiratory infection.  Second, a cough may interfere with your healing of the fascial tightening and can lead to complications.  It would be a good idea to meet with your doctor personally to be evaluated.   Best wishes!

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Cough and Abdominoplasty

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Consider rescheduling the procedure until a time when your health is optimized.  Going under general anesthesia may irritate your already inflamed respiratory system.  This could set you back and trigger more coughing.

Pain is one problem that coughing may cause after abdominoplasty, but you will also be stressing your rectus plication which could potentially cause it to fail.  This would result in a return to the operating room.  Costly and avoidable.

Please talk to your surgeon before the day of the procedure! 

Good luck.

I Have a Mild Productive Cough, Tummy Tuck in 3 Days! Should I Reschedule Surgery?

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Best is to discuss with your surgeon and/or anesthesiologist. If you continue to improve you may well be ok to proceed as planned.

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.