Can You Undergo a Tummy Tuck with Cold/coughing Symptoms?

I am scheduled for a tummy tuck on Friday. Last Sunday, I started with cold symptoms and have been coughing ever since (today is Wed.) Talked to the plastic surgeon and he wants to do the surgery since I am not running a fever. I am hesistant because my stomach (I have a hernia) is alread sore from coughing...How will the healing process be impacted by coughing? Any advice you could provide would be appreciated. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 8

Don't have Tummy Tuck while you have cold

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I don't think that you should undergo tummy tuck surgery while you have a cold. This is an elective procedure and should be done under the most optimal circumstances both for your safety and for the best outcome. If you continue to cough a lot after the surgery, the increased abdominal pressure will cause you to have more pain and possibly strain the muscle repair.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Do NOT have elective surgery with an active cold / flu

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You are right. For safety concerns you should postpone your elective operation.

Not only would you be taking an uncalled for chance with pulmonary complications resulting from having an airway from the mouth to the major airway (trachea) which could translate into a potential pneumonia but, as you so aptly pointed out each subsequent cough after your tummy tuck would be rather painful. The more coughing you do, the more there is a chance that the midline repair will be challenged and may be torn.

I had a patient I canceled on Monday for the same reason and am not sure why a colleague would encourage you to proceed.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Can You Undergo a Tummy Tuck with Cold/coughing Symptoms?

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I am sorry to hear about your concerns prior to your day of surgery. Generally speaking, patients undergoing elective surgery should be at their optimal (or close to) level of health prior to proceeding. It is especially important that there be no compromise of pulmonary function or active source of infection present.
Your plastic surgeon will be the only relevant resource when it comes to determining what medications you can take prior to surgery and your ability to proceed at this time.
Best wishes.

Cold symptoms and Tummy Tuck

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I do not think it is a good idea to undergo a Tummy Tuck and hernia repair while you are experiencing cold symptoms for most of the reasons already mentioned here. Coughing will challenge your hernia repair and also the tightening of your muscles. In addition, coughing after surgery can increase your pain and discomfort. Furthermore, general anesthesia while you have an upper respiratory process for an elective procedure is not advised. Hold off, feel better, and then proceed with your surgery.

Coughing and tummy tucks

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While the cough may not signify anything infectious or important, coughing after a tummy tuck can not only be painful, but may disrupt your sutures. This is especially true since you have a hernia already. I would recommend waiting until you are asymptomatic.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Don't mix coughing and tummy tuck

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A tummy tuck is a significant procedure to recover from even in the best of health. A cough would make the recovery miserable and would put you in jeopardy of getting more serious lung infections. You need to be able to keep your lungs clear and take deep breaths in a controlled fashion.

The stress on the muscles from coughing could undo some of the procedure. Part of a tummy tuck is to pull the muscles together to tighten the abdominal wall and this part hurts. Coughing would be very painful. The force of coughing could pull things apart in the early time period.

Do your surgery when you are breathing normally and feel your best.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

Abdominoplasty with cough

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I agree with Dr. Rand. Certainly, it most likely is a viral infection. However, if you have any upper respiraory infection, secretions can build up during anesthiesia and prompt you to cough repeatedly which could strain the repair.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Tummy tuck while coughing

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If you are having a hernia repair and a TT, it would certainly not be ideal for you to be coughing during the recovery because of the increased intraabdominal pressure caused by that. But we don't know the degree of this issue in your particular situation so I would talk again to your doctor (a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, not a "cosmetic surgeon" - right??) and express your concerns and see what they suggest.

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.