Seasonal Allergies & Surgery

Seasonal Allergies & Surgery

OP. DR. YUNUS DOĞAN



Can I have stitches and sniffles?

Flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing and there’s a fresh energy in the air! The cold wind and weather of winter are over. Now you’re thinking about plastic surgery to give yourself a little spring in your step. It’s time for personal rejuvenation. But the bees and flowers may also indicate something else in the air: pollen.

If you’re one of the billions of people with allergies - and you probably are, since 30-40% of the world’s population is reported to have some form of allergy according to NPR - you might be wondering if you can have a successful plastic surgery while battling your allergies. Can you have a tummy tuck while you’re in the midst of sneezy season? Is 360 degree liposuction possible when you’re battling what feels like a 24/7 head cold? Read on to see if surgery’s still on the table while you’re already flat-out sick.

Full disclosure

Your surgeon wants to know everything about your medical history. Leave nothing to be discovered in your pre-op tests; spill all the tea to your d. Just as you would disclose prior surgeries or injuries, tell your doctor about any recurring/chronic illnesses you live with daily as well as any allergies you have.

While the topic of this article is seasonal allergies (hay fever, pollen, dust, dander, respiratory illness, etc.) we also want you to identify any other allergies or sensitivities you have, such as reactions to food, medications or materials. Even if you think your dairy allergy has nothing to do with the plastic surgery you’ve been planning for years, you are wrong (especially if you have a tummy tuck in Istanbul, where cheese seems to make up 90% of everyone’s daily caloric intake.)

Should you fail to mention a material allergy - latex or some adhesives found on bandages are common - you might wake up with a rash. Although uncomfortable, the rash usually is not life-threatening. If you want to read up on what can cause skin irritations after surgery, check out healthline.com’s article and ALWAYS tell your doctor about any unusual things you notice on your body. (Except for those big breasts. They’re new and unusual now but you’ll get used to them.)

Actively inactive

Is it a struggle to raise your head off the pillow to read this? Do you even have the energy to leave the couch and get in the car? Does the mere thought of boarding an airplane make you weary?

If you are experiencing the worst of your allergies while trying to undergo plastic surgery, your doctor will still most likely continue with your surgical plan unless you want to postpone it. As MedicalNewsToday reports, your doctor and anesthesiologist will ultimately make the final determination. Allergies aside, if you have questions or concerns you should absolutely voice them to your doctor and his/her team.

Post-op probs

What if you’ve gone ahead with your plastic surgery while you felt perfectly fine and you woke up with allergies? Again, report any questions or concerns immediately to your doctor and the team. They might even know you’re having an allergic onset before you do, depending on your bloodwork and other testing.

A common source of anxiety among postoperative patients is sneezing, especially if they’ve had a tummy tuck. Patients worry they will tear or rip a stitch, possibly undoing their surgeon’s hours of good work with a single sneeze. Take as deep a breath as possible and relax. You can’t rip your tummy tuck stitches unless you have a long, extended period of violent sneezing/coughing/laughing.

If you’re still concerned and want to try to avoid allergy achoos, you can read citymd’s post that suggests ways to shirk sneezing. Your doctor may hint you can hold your breath to stifle your sternutations but if one slips by, apply pressure to your abdomen by wrapping your arms around yourself, holding a pillow over your paunch or having a friend apply light pressure to brace your belly.

The last stitch

Get out of your head and stop overthinking that head cold. Need something else to focus on? Refresh your knowledge of rapid recovery and think about other aspects of healing. (Or maybe you will have a friend or family member taking care of you. Let them read this.)

Try to relax and rest assured that just because you’re sniffling doesn’t mean your surgery will be scrubbed. Admit any acuteness you have and let your medical professionals figure out your fate. They can make informed decisions based on the details you’ve divulged. Plastic surgery recovery will not be pain-free and allergies can be a literal headache, but having the confidence and knowing you CAN overcome all the agonies is empowering. You can do it!

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