Reasons why the plastic surgeon might postpone your procedure

Reasons why the plastic surgeon might postpone your procedure

09th Apr 2019

Reasons why the plastic surgeon might postpone your procedure



We often hear of people undergoing plastic surgery, and over the last few years, most people got the idea that practically anyone can have surgery to improve their physical appearance, practically at any time that is convenient for them. In reality, things are a bit different. It is true that plastic surgery nowadays can be performed on a wide variety of people, including people suffering from different health conditions, a thing that was not possible in the past. Nowadays with the development of modern medicine and a bit of preparation, different kinds of people can undergo plastic surgery. At the same time, scheduling the procedure is not necessarily at the discretion of the patient. Moreover, even after the procedure is scheduled, it can be postponed if the plastic surgeon decides it is for the best.

In this article, we will discuss a few reasons why the plastic surgeon might postpone your procedure for a different time and even refuse to operate on you in some cases.


Eligibility for the plastic surgery procedure

The general rule is to perform plastic surgery only on patients who are physically and emotionally healthy and in good condition. These procedures don’t target people who are obese or severely overweight, even if some of them can be used for slimming different areas of the body. Patients who are eligible for plastic surgery need to be free of severe or chronic lung, heart, and blood condition and not undergo treatment with anti-inflammatory medication. Aside from the physical aspect, there is also the mental one. When assessing the patient’s eligibility for a certain procedure, the plastic surgeon will have to make sure that the patient has good reasons for undergoing the procedure and has realistic expectations.

Generally speaking, the plastic surgeon can decide to postpone the procedure or even cancel it when the eligibility criteria that were met during the pre-operative consultation are not actual anymore. Here are a few reasons why the plastic surgeon might postpone your procedure:

  1.    You don’t want to/can’t quit smoking

Smoking interferes with many functions of the body, and it is a bad habit frowned upon by non-smokers. However, when it comes to smoking and undergoing plastic surgery procedures, things can be even more complicated.

Smoking delays healing and can trigger severe complications such as delayed wound healing, wound dehiscence, and skin or fat tissue necrosis, among others. The plastic surgeon will advise you to stop smoking at least three to six weeks before your plastic surgery procedure and remain a non-smoker for the same amount of time after the procedure.

When scheduling the procedure, most patients are very keen on following the rules and think it will be easy to quit smoking before the procedure. Some of them manage to avoid smoking for the recommended period and undergo the procedure with more chances of having a smooth and uneventful recovery process. But there are other patients who don’t succeed in their efforts to quit smoking or at least reduce the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and in this case, the plastic surgeon might decide to postpone or cancel the procedure for the well-being of the patient. Certain procedures such as a complex tummy tuck, for example, require the patient to avoid coughing as much as possible not to trigger the rupture of the incisions. If the patient continues to smoke or quits smoking right before the procedure, he could be suffering from coughing fits all throughout the recovery period and this could be dangerous.

To make sure you have no surprises regarding your surgery’s date, make sure to quit smoking when the plastic surgeon recommends it.  


  1.    You are taking anti-inflammatory medication

Before any type of surgical procedure, there is the recommendation not to take anti-inflammatory medication containing aspirin. Even natural supplements should be avoided for two weeks before the procedure. This recommendation is made with the aim of reducing the risk of excessive bleeding during and after the procedure. Anti-inflammatory medication containing aspirin as well as certain natural supplements have blood thinning properties, and this means that excessive bleeding can occur and trigger more severe complications.

If the patient is under anti-inflammatory medication, inform your plastic surgeon, especially if the treatment is long-term. The plastic surgeon might suggest changing the doses or postponing the procedure for later on when the treatment is over.


  1.    You can’t stop birth control treatment

Among the tests that patients are required to take before any plastic surgery procedure is the pregnancy test. Aside from this, patients are also advised to stop birth control medication a month before the procedure. Birth control pills can increase the risk of developing a blood clot and hence there is an increased danger of deep vein thrombosis, which is a severe complication after plastic surgery. If the patient can’t stop or forgets to stop birth control medication a month before the procedure, it might be postponed. This is especially possible in the case of procedures performed on the tummy such as the tummy tuck where there is a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis.

If you stop birth control medication, make sure to protect a month before the procedure as getting pregnant would be another reason for not being able to undergo the procedure.


  1.    You contracted an infection or a cold

So, you have a runny nose and you cough a bit: it’s not a big deal, right? You took two weeks off from work after plastic surgery, so you reckon you’ll have plenty of time to get better from your cold during the recovery period. Well, things don’t quite work this way. One of the eligibility criteria to undergo plastic surgery is to be in good health condition. If the patient has a condition that occurred after the pre-operative assessment, the procedure can be postponed.

And it doesn’t have to be something overly serious. Something as small as a cold or a dental infection can determine your procedure to be postponed until the condition is cured.

It is important for patients resorting to plastic surgery to understand that the body should be at its best before undergoing surgery to have a fast and smooth recovery process. Otherwise, complications could be triggered.


  1.    You are not ready to undergo the procedure

You had the pre-operative consultation with the plastic surgeon, you had the tests recommended and even the meeting with the anesthetist, but you are still having second thoughts about undergoing the procedure. If this is the case, the plastic surgeon might decide that the best option is to postpone the procedure until you know you are ready.

Undergoing plastic surgery entails long-term consequences, aside from potential risks and complications. This is why it is essential for patients to be sure they want to go forward with the procedure. There are certain things that can’t be undone once the procedure is performed. For example, a potential long-term consequence after breast reduction surgery is difficulties in breastfeeding or an inability to breastfeed. If the patient is unhappy with the results, implants can be used to increase the size of the breasts once again, but the consequence of the initial procedure can’t be reversed.

The patient should be physically and emotionally ready to undergo the procedure and also sure that this is what she wants. Otherwise, a responsible plastic surgeon will end up postponing the procedure until a later date.



While it is not something we hear about on a daily basis, it is possible for the plastic surgeon to postpone a procedure that was scheduled for a certain date due to a development of things. The details of the procedure and the initial assessment of the eligibility of the patient are discussed during the pre-operative consultation with the plastic surgeon. After this, the patient has a list of recommendations and preparations to follow, as well as a list of medical tests to take to ensure no contraindications are present. If the tests show results that were not expected, the patient is required first to deal with the conditions and only after to undergo the procedure. But even if all seems fine, the plastic surgeon can decide to postpone or cancel the procedure if the patient fails to follow the pre-operative instructions related to quitting smoking, not taking anti-inflammatory medication, or birth control pills. At the same time, if the patient is having second thoughts or is overly anxious and not sure about undergoing the procedure, the plastic surgeon can decide she is not prepared to go through with the procedure and postpone it.


Share this article: