Why Do I Need To Stop Birth Control Before Plastic Surgery?

Why Do I Need To Stop Birth Control Before Plastic Surgery?

08th Jan 2019

Why Do I Need To Stop Birth Control Before Plastic Surgery?

As the medical industry continues to advance, new methods of birth control have been invented. Birth control treatments are now commonly used to prevent pregnancy. Every surgical procedure has its own set of precautionary measures that is primarily recommended by your surgeon. However, if you are under birth control and fail to inform your surgeon, it can trigger significant complications after a surgical procedure.

Birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone—hormones that affect a woman in many ways. Though these pills are best at preventing pregnancy, seeking medical advice on this issue prior to surgery is important. Depending on what procedure you are interested in, taking birth control pills before surgery could trigger unpredictable and even strange complications later on.

Why do you need to stop taking birth control pills before surgery?

Oral contraceptives can increase the development of blood clots during and after surgery. In fact, women who take contraceptive pills are at risk of developing blood clots in the legs during or after pregnancy.

When blood clots develop in the blood vessels (especially in the lower limbs), it can dislodge and turn into an embolus. This will then get attached to the pulmonary vessels, making the blood supply cease and can even cause the death of the patient. A study published in Acta Anesthesiologica Belgia Journal in 2014 supported this theory and concluded that massive pulmonary embolism had been reported in young women who were on oral contraceptives. Due to this, doctors often recommend avoiding birth control pills for at least 4-6 weeks before the surgery. During this time, coagulation will return to its normal state.

Additionally, research has proved that birth control treatments are associated with the formation of blood clots specifically in surgeries longer than 1-2 hours. It is therefore very important to mention every single detail to your doctor prior to any surgery. This also includes supplements and other medications taken regularly.

Providing an extensive medical history to your doctor goes a long way. This includes mentioning a previous history of blood clots, blood pressure, cancer, blood disorders, and other pre-existing conditions. Your doctor will suggest when to resume taking contraceptives again after the procedure on the basis of your health profile.

If you still want to use a contraceptive treatment, ask your doctor for alternative options. Compression stockings and anticoagulants are given where the risks of blood clots are higher than usual. Nevertheless, in minor surgeries performed under local anesthesia, the discontinuation of contraceptive pills may be short-term. Everybody wants a safe surgery with little to no complications and rapid recovery.


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