Plastic Surgery and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

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Plastic Surgery and Pregnancy: Risks, Alternatives, and Recommendations

During pregnancy, many things can change in a woman’s body. Undergoing plastic surgery during this time is not only a bad idea, it is extremely dangerous.
If you’re looking for the answer to “Can you get plastic surgery while pregnant?” keep reading this article.

Article at a Glance

  1. Plastic surgery during pregnancy is hazardous and carries risks of losing the child.
  2. Hospitals screen for pregnancy before surgery and elective surgeries are generally advised to be postponed until after pregnancy.
  3. Anesthesia and post-operative care in plastic surgery can harm the unborn child.
  4. Non-invasive alternatives may be considered during pregnancy, but caution is still necessary. Consulting with a professional and experienced plastic surgeon is recommended for personalized advice.

What Can Happen if You Have Surgery While Pregnant?

Regardless of the type, all surgeries performed during pregnancy carry risks. The risk of losing a child during surgery is significantly increased.

Most hospitals check multiple times for pregnancy before a patient can undergo surgery. Surgery may be medically necessary in some cases, such as a c-section. Doctors will perform surgery in these situations to save the mother or child’s life. C-sections are “safe” during pregnancy as the mother can take antibiotics afterward without harming the child. Most doctors will suggest that patients wait until after pregnancy for elective surgeries.

Will the Doctor Know I’m Pregnant if I Don’t Tell Them?

Because the risk is so significant, hospitals thoroughly screen for pregnancy. Doctors require patients to complete a pre-operative blood test before plastic surgery. Patients take the test within one to two weeks of their surgery. Many hospitals also require patients to take a follow-up test on the day of surgery.

Does Plastic Surgery Impact the Unborn Child?

While the surgery is risky for an unborn child, plastic surgery carries additional risks. Plastic surgery often requires anesthesia or post-operative medical care. Both of these types of medicine are harmful to a child in utero.

What About Plastic Surgery Performed Before Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can drastically alter the results of pre-pregnancy plastic surgery. In some cases, plastic surgery can cause difficulties in future pregnancies. For example, procedures that remove body fat or augment the breast may make it difficult to carry a child or breastfeed.

Risks of Plastic Surgery During Pregnancy

Undergoing plastic surgery at any time comes with associated risks. During pregnancy, additional risks include:

  • Higher chance of infection: Pregnancy can suppress the immune system and make you more susceptible to infection. It is also tricky to administer antibiotics without harming the child.
  • Loss of the child: The surgery itself and the use of medicine or anesthesia can result in the loss of the pregnancy in some cases.

Does Plastic Surgery Carry Risks for Breastfeeding?

Surgeons treat breastfeeding the same as pregnancy regarding plastic surgery. While some doctors may perform surgery on breastfeeding mothers, many will not.

What Cosmetic Procedures Are Safe During Pregnancy?

In general, few cosmetic procedures are safe during pregnancy. All elective procedures carry some risk, either to the mother or child. Even superficial treatments can have unpredictable results due to how pregnancy changes the body. Procedures that remove fat from the body, such as cool sculpting, are unsafe.

Can You Get Plastic Surgery While Pregnant, or Should You Postpone Your Procedure?

If you are trying to conceive or are pregnant, consider rescheduling. Most doctors suggest that undergoing elective plastic surgery before pregnancy is pointless.

After your pregnancy, you may wish to revisit your desired surgery. Most doctors are willing to operate on women once they finish breastfeeding.

Returning to the procedure after pregnancy has some advantages as well. You now have the opportunity to see your body post-pregnancy. Your changes may cause you to reevaluate the type of plastic surgery you choose. Regardless, it is important to postpone your surgery until after your pregnancy.

Additional Read: Understanding What Disqualifies You From Plastic Surgery

Alternatives to Plastic Surgery During Pregnancy

If you’re wondering, “Can you have surgery while pregnant?” you might also be curious about noninvasive procedures. There are several alternatives to plastic surgery. During pregnancy, each option has its risks and considerations:

  • Skin peels: Your skin’s sensitivity increases during pregnancy. While mild peels like glycolic acid are fine during pregnancy, your skin reaction may vary. Hyperpigmentation or other adverse effects may increase.
  • Botox: There are no studies to suggest Botox is unsafe during pregnancy. It is still not recommended to inject anything into the body during pregnancy.
  • Microneedling: As long as you use shallow needles, needling is a safer alternative during pregnancy. You still run the risk of hyperpigmentation or adverse skin reactions in any case.
  • Dermal fillers: Dermal fillers are not advised during pregnancy. Not only does pregnancy affect the results of these procedures, but it can also cause complications.
  • Coolsculpting: Any surgery that removes fat from a portion of the mother’s body can harm the baby. While cool sculpting is a non-invasive alternative, patients should avoid it during pregnancy.
  • Fat grafting: Like cool sculpting, patients should postpone undergoing fat grafting during pregnancy.

Consult an Expert Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon in Chicago

If you have other questions than, “Can you get plastic surgery while pregnant?” consult a professional and experienced plastic surgeon today. Dr. James Wang and his team have the answers to your plastic surgery questions.

We can provide the right information to help you make the best decision.

About The Author

Dr. James Wang - Facial Plastic Surgeon

By Dr. James Wang MD PhD

Dr. James C. Wang, MD and Ph.D., is the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He graduated with Honors from the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Sciences Program at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.