The winter months can be a convenient time to undergo elective surgery since many of us are wearing more layers, staying inside, and being overall less active. Unfortunately, this is also a common time for people to catch cold and flu viruses—not to mention the coronavirus. So what happens if your surgery has been scheduled, but you wake up with a sore throat and runny nose in the days leading up to it? Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Neil J. Zemmel, explains some scenarios that may or may not affect your surgery timeline.
- Sore throat: Mild soreness is typically not a cause for concern, but more intense pain and swollen tonsils will require you to reschedule your surgery. Keep in mind that if you are receiving general anesthesia for your procedure, this can make your throat feel worse for a couple days.
- Runny nose: If your nose is running more than normal lately but you don’t have any other symptoms, this shouldn’t impact your recovery from surgery. A sinus infection, on the other hand, is a good reason to cancel surgery and reschedule it for a later date when you are well.
- Cough: A mild cough is usually not an issue. If you have a persistent cough, however, you will probably need to postpone your surgery. This is especially true if you are receiving general anesthesia, which can irritate the airway more. Procedures like tummy tuck surgery can be particularly difficult to recover from with a cold, since coughing uses the abdominal muscles.
- Fever: If you come down with a fever, we will require you to reschedule your surgery, as this indicates your body is fighting off an infection or other illness. This is for your safety during and after surgery to avoid complications.
Important COVID-19 Information: It is essential for your health and the safety of our staff and patients that you reschedule your surgery if you are diagnosed with the virus. If you have any cold or flu symptoms—even minor ones—you will need to be tested for COVID-19 to rule out this virus before coming in for surgery.
In general, a mild cold isn’t usually a reason to cancel surgery. The severity of your symptoms and outcome of your COVID-19 test will ultimately determine whether you can keep your original surgery date or will need to postpone it. Our goal is to help you look and feel your best, but we want to ensure your procedure can be done with the utmost safety.
If you have any questions about your upcoming surgery date, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.Previous Post