What to do if You Catch a Cold Prior to Your Surgery

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We want you to get the most out of your consultation. If at all possible, it is best to make arrangements for small children to stay home rather than having them join us for your appointments.

The months of September through March are considered the cold season. Annually, children below the age of six catch a cold six to ten times. Most adults also suffer from colds and related complications during these months. Catching a cold can affect your scheduled plastic surgery. The doctors at Gawley Plastic Surgery advise that this will depend on the severity and timing of the illness. There are different solutions you can embrace if you catch a cold with your surgery coming up.

Symptoms to Look Out For

The main symptoms of a cold include a runny nose, scratchy or sore throat, and coughing. Others are fever, muscle pains, and general body fatigue. If you start to notice these symptoms, it’s best to stay home and rest as much as possible so you may recover quickly and call your plastic surgeon’s office, depending on how soon your scheduled procedure is.

Should You Notify the Surgeon?

Absolutely. If you catch a cold a few weeks or days near your surgery, notify the doctor. You may be tempted to withhold that information and hope you will have recovered in time for your surgery.

Remember that only your doctor can decide whether the cold will affect your surgery or not. Keeping your doctor updated on your progress will determine rescheduling or cancellation decisions.

When to Postpone Surgery

The severity and timing of a cold contribute to decision making. If you catch cold weeks to your surgery, there are higher chances of you recovering and undergoing surgery as planned. Chances of postponing are high if you get sick a few days before your surgery. When you have a sinus infection, your surgery should be delayed. The same case applies when you have a nagging cough. Anesthesia cannot be used when you have a severe sore throat, as it can worsen the symptom.

Cold Symptoms and Surgery

People are required to drink plenty of fluids when recovering from a cold. Unfortunately, they are also restricted from drinking water eight to twelve hours to surgery. If the cold hasn’t cleared when your surgery is due, it should be canceled or postponed.

Surgery will also be postponed if you have severely swollen tonsils. When the cold causes fever, the surgery should be rescheduled, as it means your body is working hard to fight the illness. If the only cold symptom you have is a runny nose, surgery can proceed as scheduled.

Risks Associated with Surgery When You Have a Cold

People are different, and the way they are affected by anesthesia may also vary. For some people with colds, general anesthesia heightens the existing symptoms. Some will cough more, and those with runny noses may produce more mucus. Others may develop additional symptoms like breathing difficulty, requiring extended hospitalization. An anesthesiologist must cooperate with your surgeon to determine if the cold will affect your scheduled surgery.

Delayed Recovery

A cold may cause delayed recovery from surgery. This is because your body will be working extra fighting the cold and protecting the surgery wounds. Prolonged recovery may also be due to limited Oxygen intake. Coughing sends a shock wave through your body. This may strain and loosen the surgical sutures, prolonging healing time.

Schedule a Consultation

If you’re interested in plastic surgery, schedule a consultation with Gawley Plastic Surgery to see if you are a suitable candidate. If you already have a surgery scheduled and are experiencing cold symptoms, call our office at (480) 842-8606 to see whether or not you should postpone your surgery date.