Can I Take Zithromax Before my Surgery on Monday?

I tested positive for strep today. Will this be a problem for my scheduled Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 11

Postpone surgery

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Your surgery should be postponed until your infection has resolved. It's safer for you. Please let your surgeon know. 

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Sick before planned surgery

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Thank you for your question. If in the unfortunate circumstance that you get sick before your surgery, you may have postpone your surgery until you are better again. If you are feeling sick, I would discuss with your surgeon who may help you decide depending on your individual symptoms.

Strep Throat and Cosmetic Surgery

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For your safety no elective surgery should be done until an active infection as been completely treated. In such cases we allow the infection to resolve before considering a return to the operating room. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Undergoing elective surgery is elective, not an urgency or emergency

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Thank you for your question. Contact your doctor's office and inform him/her and the anesthesiologist. There is a good chance that you won't have a choice. If you are sick, then surgery may be canceled and rescheduled to a time that you are not sick. It is not worth the risk of getting much sicker for an elective surgery.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

You can take your Zithromax; you should NOT have surgery until your strep throat is completely treated.

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Thoguh you have started antibiotic therapy prior to surgery, you will NOT have completed treatment, and will likely still have many more strep bacteria still present, even if you remain asymptomatic. Realize that antibiotics work by first killing the sensitive strains of strep that infect your throat, and hopefully killing at least some of the more resistant strains that are present in any billions-of-bacteria colonies that are multiplying and mutating. Soon, only the resistant strains remain, but by then, in most cases of healthy individuals, your own immune defenses are "cranked-up" and able to kill the remaining nasty bugs.

If you don't give your body time to do its work, along with completing your antibiotic prescription as directed, you are at increased risk for laryngospasm (major anesthesia concern) and a higher risk of infection in your operative site. Throat and airway infections are best completely healed before considering elective surgery. Sure these are "theoretically-increased" risks, but should you be the rare exception that experiences one of them, you are NOT "theoretically" dead; it's the real deal.

I know it's a huge hassle to rearrange time off work, vacation, help with recovery, etc. We all get that. But even a small risk of something terrible happening is too big a risk to take! Talk to your doctor. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 262 reviews

Delay surgery with an active infection

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If you tested positive for strep throat on Friday, it is in your best interest to delay your surgery for a few weeks.  Let your surgeon know as soon as possible. 

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Elective surgery and strep infection

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Thnakd for your question.  I could not tell when your surgery was scheduled for and I am assuming you have a strep throat infection?  I would reccomend if you were my patient to treat the infection and wait at least 10 days - 2weeks prior to elective surgery.   Please communicate with your surgeon. 

Strep Infection Before Surgery

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Cancel the surgery. It is not worth the risk to your health to pursue the surgery with an active infection so close to the procedure date.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Strep contraindicates tummy tuck

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If you have a strep infection, the surgery should be cancelled. There are both anesthesia and infection issues. The surgery can certainly be rescheduled as soon as you have recovered but the first priority should be to recover from the strep. You should notify your plastic surgeon as soon as possible (like immediately) so he can be aware. In cases where an illness causes postponement of a surgery, although inconvenient for both physician and patient, I do not charge a cancellation fee and suspect that many of my colleague do the same. Speedy recovery!

Infection prior to Tummy Tuck?

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I'm sorry to hear about the infection and its poor timing. Unfortunately, online consultation is not the way to go here; you need to communicate with your plastic surgeon...

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.