Is it Safe to Have Cosmetic Surgery if You Have a Cold?

Let’s face it: nobody really wants to have a cold. There’s not much fun in feeling achy and tired, with a stuffy or runny nose, and a persistent cough. On top of that, there’s really no good time to have a cold. It seems like you get laid out by a cold at the most inconvenient times, such as when you have plans to attend a big party or go on vacation.

But what if your cold coincides with your cosmetic surgery appointment that you booked weeks ago? Can you still go through with surgery, or is it better to reschedule with our staff at Jefferson Plastic Surgery? Read further to find out if your symptoms really mean that you have a cold, as well as your potential risks for undergoing surgery if you are sick.

Do I Actually Have a Cold?

Unfortunately, many symptoms of a cold can be similar to those for allergies or hay fever, as well as flu or pneumonia. The classic symptoms associated with a cold, such as a runny or stuffy nose, a sore or scratchy throat, and a persistent cough with phlegm, are also very common with allergies or hay fever. If you have itchy or watery eyes, chances are good that you don’t have a cold, but instead are dealing with allergies or hay fever.

Likewise, a slight fever is common for a cold, but a temperature goes above 100F and is accompanied by muscle pain and severe coughing that brings up bright green phlegm, your condition may more likely be either the flu or pneumonia. If so, you should call us to cancel your procedure and see your regular doctor right away.

What Are the Risks from Having Surgery?

If you are having either general or twilight anesthesia for your cosmetic surgery, a sore or scratchy throat can worsen as a result of the anesthesia. If your anesthesiologist will be inserting a breathing tube, your mouth and throat will dry out. On top of that, the restriction on fluids starting 12 hours prior to surgery will also aggravate a sore or scratchy throat due to a cold.

Even your recovery from the anesthesia can be more difficult if you have a cold. It is not unusual to have a cough when your anesthesia first wears off as you wake up, even if you do not have a cold. This is a normal reflexive response to the removal of your breathing tube. A cold will make your cough worse and could cause bronchial spasms.

A cold may also delay your post-surgery healing process, as fits of coughing and sneezing act like huge shock waves inside your body. Even blowing your nose can cause pain. There is a very real risk of tearing your incisions open, which will delay the amount of time it takes for them to fully close over. There may also be a risk for excessive scarring as a result.

At the end of the day, calling our office to reschedule is the best choice of action if you catch a cold just before your scheduled surgery date. While it may be frustrating to delay your procedure, you will be much happier with the outcome if you do so.

Questions? Email us today.

To make or reschedule an appointment please complete the form below or call:  (215) 625-6630.

CALL US TODAY: (215)625-6630


Jefferson Plastic Surgery is located on the corner of 9th and Walnut streets in Center City, Philadelphia on the 15th floor of the Wills Eye Hospital Building.

Jefferson Plastic Surgery
840 Walnut Street - 15th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Phone: (215) 625-6630
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