Pre-surgical Tip: Do Not Shave before Plastic Surgery

If you’re about to undergo plastic surgery, you may think shaving is a good idea. Clean, smooth skin around the face, neck, torso, or legs should make things easier for the surgeon, right?

Well, as it turns out, it’s actually a bad idea to shave the treatment area yourself before surgery. You may not realize this, but shaving increases the risk of complications.

The Philadelphia, PA cosmetic surgeons of Jefferson Plastic Surgery want to discuss why shaving before surgery is a bad idea. We’ll offer some guidelines for proper pre-op care, and advice on what you can do to avoid problems as you’re healing from surgery.

What Happens When You Shave

A good clean shave may not be as clean as you think. Your skin may feel smooth, but running a razor over the skin could cause trauma at a microscopic level. Even if it’s not a large nick or cut, micro-abrasions on the skin are a concern for anyone undergoing a surgical procedure.

Increased Risk of Infection during and after Surgery

You may wonder why these small wounds are such a concern. Simply put, if there are wounds on the skin around the treatment area, there is a higher risk of infection during and after surgery.

You’ve essentially increased the exposure area. Even the tiny nicks you take for granted could be bacterial breeding grounds.

Is the Increased Infection Risk Significant?

The surgical journal Spine published a study that noted that infections were more likely in patients who shaved prior to surgery than patients who were not shaved. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends any shaving by the surgical team should be done with an electric razor rather than a traditional razor.

When Can I Shave Before Plastic Surgery?

If you do need to shave, you can safely do so 48 hours before your surgical procedure. Be sure to consult with your surgeon about this as the timeframe may be crucial for avoiding complications. It may be a good idea to shave with an electric razor to avoid nicks and cuts as well. Better to err on the side of safety.

When Can I Shave after Plastic Surgery?

For most patients, waiting about two weeks after surgery to shave again is ideal. You may want to initially shave with an electric razor for the first week or two in order to avoid potential infection and discomfort. Consult with your plastic surgeon to make sure this will not impact your recovery.

Follow Pre-op Instructions Closely

Not shaving before surgery is just one of many instructions provided to patients before their surgical procedure is performed. Be sure to follow all pre-op instructions closely. By following these instructions to the letter, you limit infection risk and help ensure you experience a speedy and problem-free recovery.

Contact Jefferson Plastic Surgery

For more tips about plastic surgery preparation and preventing complications, be sure to contact our team of cosmetic surgeons today. We at Jefferson Plastic Surgery are here to help you look your best and feel great.

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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Out of town patients can take our simple 4 step online consultation. To make or reschedule an appointment please call:  (215) 625-6630.

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