Blood Tests: Mandatory Before Plastic Surgery?

Blood Tests: Mandatory Before Plastic Surgery?

23rd Apr 2018


Plastic surgery is more and more in demand nowadays. But what some patients fail to understand is that even if it is performed on an elective basis and for cosmetic purposes, plastic surgery is still surgery and entails certain risks and complications. To reduce the rate of risks occurring, certain tests are mandatory before the procedure is performed. Some plastic surgeons will perform the procedure requiring only minimal medical examination beforehand, while others are more concerned with the well-being of the patient and will ask the patient to undergo thorough examinations just to make sure they are eligible for the surgery. Aside from blood tests, there will be other medical tests performed depending on the procedure that will be done.


How to prepare for the blood test before plastic surgery:

If you are scheduled for your blood tests, then you need to get ready. To get reliable results, there are a few rules and recommendations you should follow before going to your appointment.

  1. If the medical staff will ask you to come on an empty stomach, make sure not to eat anything after 7 pm the day before the procedure. There should be at least 12 hours of fasting before your blood tests.
  2. Don’t drink alcohol or a lot of carbonated beverages the days prior to your blood test.
  3. Don’t drink coffee at least 20-24 hours prior to your test.
  4. Don’t eat foods that are fried or over processed the days before your test.
  5. Do not smoke or drink coffee the morning you’re having your blood test taken.
  6. Avoid intense physical activity for at least a day before your test.
  7. Drink plenty of water a few days before your test.
  8. Sit and relax for at least 10 to 15 minutes before your blood is sampled.
  9. Don’t take any medication or natural supplements a few days before the test, unless you discussed it beforehand with your plastic surgeon.
  10. Make sure to let the medical staff know any medication you are currently taking.

Following these simple indications will ensure that your blood tests will take place under the best possible conditions.


When are blood tests necessary before plastic surgery?

If you need an operation, you will need to undergo blood and urine tests beforehand. These analyses can be useful if you have certain diseases or other health problems. For example, if you have a blood disorder, a test may indicate if you are at risk for excessive bleeding during surgery. The tests will allow your plastic surgeon to properly prepare for your intervention and take all the necessary measures to ensure your safety and well-being at all times.

Most people in good health think they do not need these tests, especially before a surgery that involves little risk. But there is no way for the surgeon to be sure about your health condition unless undergoing these tests. Many healthy people undergo routine laboratory testing before surgery, and the results of these tests rarely influence the surgeon’s decision to operate or determine the safety of surgery.

Blood and urine tests are very safe, but they can also cause false alarms. This can cause anxiety, lead to further testing, and even delay your surgery. For example, an analysis may be followed by monitoring, ultrasound, biopsy or other examination that will expose you to radiation, as in the case of X-rays or scans. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is in your best interest to undergo all these tests and know you are a good candidate for the procedure than go ahead with the surgery not knowing what the risks are exactly.

If you have certain illnesses or other health problems, or if your medical history demonstrates the need for blood tests, they can give your doctor relevant information. For example:

  • If you bruise easily or if you are using medication that thins up the blood, if you had excessive bleeding during a previous intervention or dental procedure, or if you have an antecedent of blood disorders in your family, you will certainly need a blood test to check if your blood coagulates normally.
  • If you suffer from a disease like diabetes, you will need a test to check if your disease is well controlled.
  • If you are tired most of the time, you might suffer from anemia. The blood tests will indicate this, and the plastic surgeon will give you an iron supplement after the procedure.
  • Women of childbearing age should take a pregnancy test.

The blood tests that are mandatory to be performed before a plastic surgery intervention should reveal if you have a blood disorder, anemia, diabetes or an infection in the body. Even the slightest sign of infection can make your plastic surgeon postpone your procedure until you are in a better health condition.

Depending on the results of the tests, your plastic surgeon may monitor your condition more closely during or after the procedure. Sometimes surgery may be delayed until the problem is controlled. Or, your plastic surgeon may opt for another surgical technique or another mode of anesthesia.

Operative and post-operative conduct are dependent on the results of your blood tests, and this is why it is important to treat them with care. Moreover, the tests might reveal a condition that needs monitoring that you might not have even known you have.


How to prepare for surgery

Your plastic surgeon and the medical team responsible for the preoperative period will review your medical history. They will recommend the necessary blood tests that are required to be taken before your intervention. Make sure to:

  • Ask your doctor to check your blood tests already done in the last four to six months. It is rare to have to repeat an analysis if your state of health has not changed.
  • Make a list of all your supplements, medications and vitamins.
  • Report any new symptoms, even if they occur after your assessment.


The following steps may make your surgery safer:

Quit smoking, at least for a few weeks before and after the surgery. It is important not to smoke the day of your surgery. The earlier you stop, the more you reduce the risk of developing complications. If you need help to stop smoking, talk to your doctor.

Ask to keep your own blood in reserve, if possible. You can have a quantity of blood collected and have it placed in reserve before surgery. This way, if you need a blood transfusion, you will receive your own blood, which will reduce the risk of infection or adverse reactions.

Find out about pain management. Ask your doctor if you should stop taking aspirin or other medication prior to surgery and ask about pain management after the operation.

Ask for help. Ask someone to take you to the hospital, stay with you the first night, and pick you up at the end of your stay. You can also ask someone to accompany you during your medical appointments, especially if you are stressed, to make sure you remember all the instructions and all the necessary information. Find out more about the recovery period.



It is important to understand that blood tests are mandatory before your plastic surgery intervention, especially if the procedure requires general anesthesia and is lengthy and complex with significant incisions. Your plastic surgeon needs to know beforehand if you have an infection, anemia, a blood disorder, or other conditions that would require specific attention during the operation.

A pregnancy test should be mandatory for all women who are at childbearing age, especially if they are not on birth control pills.

Depending on the results of your blood tests, the plastic surgeon might decide to change the course of the procedure, choose another operative method, and even the anesthesia type. This is for your own safety and well-being.

Make sure to discuss with the surgeon your family medical history, current or past medication, and even vitamins and minerals if you are taking any. This will help him recommend the most suitable tests and examinations that you need to undergo prior to your plastic surgery intervention.

While many patients think this is an unnecessary step that they need to take before a cosmetic procedure, from my experience I can tell you that it can save a lot of trouble and make the procedure much safer for the patient. Excessive bleeding caused by a blood disorder that was not discovered before the procedure can have life-threatening complications for the patient.



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