Plastic Surgery For Patients With Chronic Conditions

Plastic Surgery For Patients With Chronic Conditions

31st Jan 2019

Plastic Surgery For Patients With Chronic Conditions



Plastic surgery is a major and invasive operation. There is this widely held misconception that plastic surgery is a simple and non-invasive procedure such as getting makeup or haircut. This is not the truth. The fact is that plastic surgery is risky, traumatic, and entails complications. The surgery involves incisions, which will ultimately develop into scars. In light of these, plastic surgeons assess the overall health of the patient while determining candidacy for any procedure. 

The risks are greater for people with health problems, particularly chronic conditions. As such, you should do a risk/benefit analysis of the operation and undergo surgery only when the benefits are greater than the risks. Moreover, you should use plastic surgery as a last option to enhance your body. You should first try non-invasive methods instead of plastic surgery. 

Pre-operative consultation

Your candidacy for plastic surgery will be determined during the pre-operative consultation. The plastic surgeon will examine your body, know your goals, and thoroughly assess your health to determine whether you are a good candidate. Keep in mind that there are some health issues that can increase the risks for you during and after the surgery. The doctor will ask about your health and medication history. 

Remember, not every medical problem can keep you from going under the knife. Whether the health issue will affect your candidacy depends on the severity of the issue. It also depends on the type of health condition you are suffering from. There are also many chronic health issues that will not affect your candidacy. On the other hand, there are certain serious health complications that may affect your health and increase the risks for you. In such cases, the doctor will advise you to avoid the procedure. You too should not insist on undergoing the surgery if the doctor tells you that you can experience life-threatening complications. 


Severe diabetes 

Diabetes is one of the chronic conditions that may affect your candidacy for plastic surgery. In most cases of mild diabetes, the patient will still be able to undergo the surgery. However, if the diabetes is chronic, it can increase the risks for you manifold. If your diabetes is not chronic, you can safely undergo the procedure because there are no life-threatening risks for you. 

Keep in mind that diabetes is a health problem whereby your body fails to effectively use the sugar, especially the glucose, present in your diet. No matter you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, the sugar level of your blood will be abnormally high. If the sugar level is too high, it can create complications during and after plastic surgery. Very high sugar level can result in excessive bleeding, poor and slow wound healing, poor aesthetic results, and heart issues. 

The plastic surgeon will assess the severity if your diabetes and then determine whether it is safe for you to go under the knife. The surgeon may advise you to avoid the procedure if the diabetes is chronic. If the diabetes is not chronic, the surgeon can allow you to undergo the procedure; however, additional measures and precautions would be taken during the surgery and the recovery period. 


Heart problems

Severe heart problem is yet another health condition that may affect your candidacy for plastic surgery. The plastic surgeon will specifically assess the condition of your heart to determine your candidacy. Many patients want to know whether they can undergo plastic surgery when they have heart disease. The answer is that it depends on how severe the heart disease is. Moreover, it also counts on health issues linked with your heart disease, your history of heart attacks, and the trauma involved in the particular procedure that you want to undergo. 

After looking at the history of your heart disease and assessing the health of your heart, the plastic surgeon will decide how risky the plastic surgery can be for you or whether the benefits will be greater than the associated risks. In case the risks are higher, the surgeon will advise you to avoid the procedure. In most cases of mild to moderate heart problems, the patients turn out to be a good candidate. If the condition is chronic and the surgeon believes the surgery could be life-threatening for you, you will be told to avoid the procedure, or special precautions would be put in place during the surgery. Also, you will be required to be extra careful during the recovery period. 

To get to the core of your heart disease, the surgeon will ask you to get an EKG. Also, if the condition is severe, the plastic surgeon would like to discuss it with your cardiologist to determine your candidacy for the operation. It is important for people suffering from chronic heart disease to first get clearance from their cardiologists. You should not be upset if the doctor tells you to avoid the procedure. Your health and life are more important than body aesthetics. 


High blood pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is yet another health issue that would be assessed during the pre-operative consultation. Hypertension is not always a primary reason for rejection of your candidacy. If you have chronic hypertension, it can create complications during the surgery. Whether hypertension can be life-threatening during plastic surgery also depends on the specific procedure you are seeking. The surgical trauma and the type of anesthesia will also determine the level of risks posed by high blood pressure. 

During the consultation, the surgeon will check your blood pressure history and severity in case you have suffered from high blood pressure in the past. If the doctor believes that you will be exposed to more risks during the surgery, he will advise you to avoid the procedure. On the other hand, if the blood pressure issue is not chronic, you can still undergo surgery. 

During the surgery, a board-certified anesthesiologist will keep check on your major blood pressure indications. He will control your heart rate and respiratory behavior. If required, the anesthesiologist may give you IV medicines to keep your blood pressure normal during the operation. 


Blood disorders

Blood disorder is also a health complication that can lead to more risks during plastic surgery. If you have blood disorders like blood clotting or excessive bleeding, you may experience complications during the surgery and recovery period. The level of risks depends on the severity of the problem. If you already know that you have blood problems, you must share this information with the doctor during consultation.

The plastic surgeon will assess the type of blood disorder, its severity, and the problems it can create during the surgery and recovery. If the condition turns out to be chronic, you will be advised to avoid surgery. In most cases, your hematologist will be consulted to get his or her feedback on your candidacy for plastic surgery. 

If both the plastic surgeon and hematologist believe that the blood disorder is not chronic and the risks are not as high, you will qualify for the procedure. However, you will require extra care during and after the surgery. 


Autoimmune disease

The plastic surgeon will also assess your health for autoimmune diseases. If you have an autoimmune disorder, be sure to tell it to the surgeon. An autoimmune disorder is a condition whereby your immune system mistakes your body organs or parts as foreign elements, thereby attacking and damaging them. Like other health problems, an autoimmune problem can differ in severity. If the problem is chronic, the surgeon may either tell you to avoid the procedure, or additional measures would be taken during the surgery. The good news is that certain medicines can be used to temporarily control an autoimmune disease. 

Some examples of autoimmune disease include psoriasis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and chronic rheumatic heart disease. If you have any chronic form of these diseases, you should avoid plastic surgery, as it would multiply the risks for you. A chronic autoimmune disorder can make plastic surgery life-threatening for you. One study even found that severe autoimmune disorder can make you six times more likely to experience pulmonary embolism during the operation. 



Many people consider plastic surgery to be an easy and risk-free procedure. The fact is that plastic surgery involves incisions and trauma, which expose the patient to many risks. The level of risks depends on your existing health condition. If you are suffering from chronic diseases, you may not be a good candidate or additional precautionary measures would be needed during the surgery and the recovery. The chronic disease that can affect your candidacy has been discussed above. 


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