Do I need to have my hair extensions removed before my BA? They have metal in them.

Doctor Answers 10

Breast Augmentation - Hair extensions with metal?

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Thank you for your question. It is generally recommended to remove all metal from the body to minimize the risk of burns from the electrocautery device. You should discuss your concern with your board certified plastic surgeon. Hope this helps and good luck!

Ask your surgeon

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You should probably ask your surgeon as your surgeon would be the best person to answer that question. All metal should be removed from your body before surgery as it decreases complications for you post op. 

Hair Extensions and Breast Augmentation

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Thank you for your question.  Standard of care is that all metal is removed from your body prior to surgery.  Best to check with your surgeon for his/her specific requirements for your situation.  Best of luck.

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Breast augmentation - are metallic hair extensions ok?

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Thank you for asking about your breast augmentation.
  • First check with your surgeon's office.
  • If s/he doesn't know, they should check with your surgical facility.
  • In the US, all metal extensions are usually removed - not because they are necessarily dangerous but because it is one less thing that could be a problem. 
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

I don't think removal of hair extensions with metal in them is necessary before surgery

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I think the main concern for most people in situations like this is the possibility of some kind of burn injury to skin from the use of electrocautery.  I think the risk of this is very remote, as most of the time the small amount of metal in hair extensions isn't in direct contact with the skin of the scalp, and it is usually insulated by the hair anyhow.  I have operated on many, many ladies with hair extensions and have never had a problem.  This is not to say that strange things can't happen, but in these instances we have to weigh the likelihood of one outcome against another - is it so likely that we will have an injury from hair extensions that I should make EVERY ONE of my patients with metallic hair extension clips get their extensions removed?  I personally don't think so, and so far I have been correct.  I wouldn't fault anyone for making the opposite decision; I just think it's a huge hassle and expense for ladies to undo their extensions, when my experience has shown that in the vast, vast majority of instances it's unnecessary.  One thing that is worth noting here, however, is that sometimes the extensions can create bulk or a hard surface or contact point, which in a lengthy case can potentially cause injury from direct compression on the scalp.  This can be true especially when the connector is very small and can cause more-or-less pinpoint compression on the skin.  As we would in all cases, but especially in these cases, the scalp should be padded adequately for a long procedure, and extra attention should be paid to the scalp in the areas of potential compression by hair extensions.  This is something the anesthesiologist will need to participate with fully.  Other than that, I for one say "Keep your extensions!"  Best of luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Metal extensions

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As other doctors have noted, this is the plastic surgeons call and will vary from location to location. If your current plastic surgeon is not comfortable with the procedure it is possible another in your area will be. Always ensure he/she is board certified and that you understand the risks that come with undergoing the surgery. It is possible the plastic surgeon asks you to sign a form that says you understand these risks.
Best of luck.

Traci Temmen, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon


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It is advised that all metal is removed prior to surgery to decrease risk.  Discuss the specifics with your surgeon to see what is best for your particular situation.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Hair extensions before breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question.  I require all metal to be removed prior to surgery , however,  I would check with your Dr.s' office before hand. 

Chad Robbins, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Metal hair extensions

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Hi. In our practice with our surgery center. Our patients are required to remove any extensions with metal on them. This is however a facility by facility call. I would ask your surgeon or the facility you will be having surgery to make sure.

M. Bradley Calobrace, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Hair extensions

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I personally had that dilemma a few times over the last 25 years. As I understand, it's very difficult to take these extensions out, we have allowed the patients to retain them making them sign a release should any small burn from the electrocautery happen. I haven't seen that happen yet. I would recommend you talk to your surgeon about their feelings on the subject. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 58 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.