Can You Wear Nail Polish when Going in for Your Mommy Makeover Surgery?

Just wondering if I can leave nail polish on my toenails when I go in to have my surgery. My PS didn't mention anything about it so I wondered if it was ok to have them done before I go in. Having my toenails looking cute always lifts my spirits, so I would like to have them done before I go in if it is allowed.

Doctor Answers 8

Wearing Nail Polish for Your Surgery

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Hello and thank you for your question.  If you are thinking about getting a manicure right before your surgery you may want to reconsider. Most hospitals and offices will advise patients to remove nail polish before surgery.  
Possibly the most important monitoring device that helps make modern anesthesia so safe is the pulse oximeter. This non-invasive method allows the monitoring of the oxygenation of a patient’s hemoglobin.
A sensor is placed on the fingertip and this measures the level of oxygen in the blood and works by passing red light through tissue. Nail polish may reduce the effectiveness of this monitor. The nail bed is one of the best places to detect cyanosis caused by low oxygen levels. This is why acrylic nails, nail polish, solar nails, shellac polish, etc are asked to be removed prior to surgery.  Hope this helps!

Maitland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Get your pedicure before surgery!

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Yes, it is fine to go and get a pedicure prior to surgery.  You will likely not be feeling like getting one for a couple of weeks, so having it done right before is a nice treat and keeps those toes looking good!

Pulse Oximetry & Nail Polish Usage for Mommy Makeover Surgery

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            When cosmetic surgery is performed, safety should always be the number one priority. For this reason, pulse oximetry is used to monitor oxygen levels throughout the surgical experience. This process is started in the preoperative holding area and is continued throughout surgery and recovery.

             Pulse oximetry involves placing a devise on the finger, which measures oxygen levels through the fingernails. It’s not unusual for patients to present for surgery wearing finger nail polish. Finger nail polish can interfere with pulse oximtery and for this reason should be removed prior to surgery.

            In someone who is undergoing mommy makeover surgery, toe nail polish shouldn’t represent a problem since the monitors are usually placed on the fingers. If you have questions regarding this topic, make sure they’re answered during your preoperative consultation. 

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Nail Polish at Surgery

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During surgery one of the instruments that is used is a pulse oximeter.  This device reads the oxygen level in your blood.  It is placed on a finger most of the time.  Some operating rooms will remove polish from one fingernail for this purpose.  A pedicure is unlikely to interfere with monitoring so go ahead and enjoy it!

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Can You Wear Nail Polish when Going in for Your Mommy Makeover Surgery?

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I see no issue with toe nail polish. But we are not doing your surgery. Best to call your chosen surgeon for his desires. 

Nail polish before surgery

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Yeah go for it. Just avoid very dark shades as they can make it difficult fo monitor your oxygen levels. The anestheia team wil use something called a pulse oximeter which can actually tell the amount of oxygen in your blood just by shining a red light through your nail bed. The instruments have gotten so good that most colors are not a problem - except for the very dark colors.

Nail polish should be removed before surgery

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Unfortunately, you'll probably have to remove nail polish before surgery.  The polish may get in the way of the instruments that monitor the oxygen level in your blood....sorry!

Mommy makeover preparation

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Generally yes this should not be a problem. Always best to check with your surgeon to be sure. Best wishes

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.