Plastic surgery in itself is safe for the majority of patients that we see. Plastic surgery, however, is no different than any other type of surgical procedure in that patients must be prescreened before undergoing surgery. All of our patients have a formal history and physical examination as well as a full set of laboratories done prior to general anesthesia. Patients are screened for systemic medical conditions which may include high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and any other medical condition that needs to be cleared for general anesthesia. Patients undergoing breast enhancement or breast reconstruction surgery should have mammograms performed at the age of 35 or ultrasounds performed at an earlier age if there is a strong family history or diathesis of breast cancer. The majority of our younger patients will undergo simple history and physical with laboratories, including hemoglobin blood count, white count, coagulation panel to evaluate for the possibilities of bleeding, as well as a beta hCG to review to clear that the patient is not pregnant. Patients over the age of 45 in our patients should also undergo 12-lead EKGs to assess cardiac risk. In general, plastic surgery is very safe when performed by board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons in a surgery center that is licensed and with appropriate anesthesiologist. But once again, each patient must be viewed as a case-by-case basis and should be cleared prior to undergoing plastic surgery, no different than any other operation.
A Answers (3)
Stuart Linder, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answered
Tara Whitworth, MSN, Nursing, answeredNo, plastic surgery is not safe for everyone. People with certain health conditions should not get plastic surgery. Your plastic surgeon will use your health history and specific tests to determine if you are right for plastic surgery.
Erik Hoy, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answeredNo. But, it is safe for many if not most people. Certain health conditions such as diabetes, malnutrition, connective tissue disorders, etc may make elective surgery prohibitively risky. More likely, though, is that certain procedures may be low risk for certain patients, while procedures are not worth the risks involved. Not everyone is a good candidate for every procedure, and the only way to find out what is right for you is to discuss your options with your plastic surgeon.