How Safe Is Plastic Surgery While Pregnant?

Christie Auyeung Plastic Surgery Leave a Comment

Pregnancy can be a roller coaster. Gaining weight, fluctuating hormones, and the emotional demands of preparing for a baby can make many women feel less confident or long for their pre-pregnancy bodies. But is plastic surgery even an option when you’re expecting a child?

The short answer is no. In most cases, plastic surgery is an “elective” procedure, meaning that it’s not medically necessary. And any sort of surgery brings a risk of complications.

Having plastic surgery while pregnant can harm both the expectant mother and the unborn fetus. For one thing, pregnancy can weaken your immune system, which increases risk of infection after surgery. Additionally, administering anesthesia and taking pain medication can also negatively impact fetal development. As a result, very few plastic surgeons will perform any type of elective surgery during pregnancy.

So what can be done during pregnancy?

The most that your surgeon will likely let you do while pregnant is a skin exfoliation procedure, such as a microdermabrasion or a light chemical peel.

Focusing on the health and development of the baby is the top concern for most plastic surgeons. Any nips or tucks can be done after the baby is born, when your surgeon can create more long-lasting results and keep both the baby and the expectant mother safe.

What if you don’t know you’re pregnant?

Whether you tell your surgeon or not, he/she will know whether you are pregnant during surgery. Blood tests are ordered before all surgeries to ensure patient health and determine blood type in case a transfusion is needed. The blood tests are also done to test for pregnancy. Usually, these tests are done one or two weeks before surgery. Immediately before plastic surgery, most hospitals will perform a pregnancy test to double check if the patient has become pregnant since the last test. Even if you assure them you aren’t pregnant, this is still done to ensure the safety of the unborn baby.

How about while breastfeeding?

Even after your baby is born, your surgeon will likely ask you to wait until after you’ve finished breastfeeding to have plastic surgery. Most surgeons will not perform procedures on breastfeeding women if they are not medically necessary. But after waiting until your baby is born and you’ve finished breastfeeding, you’ll be back in the clear for any elective plastic surgery you’d like to have.

Considering plastic surgery? Contact one of our world-class surgeons today.

Christie is a UChicago grad currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her free time, she enjoys tap dancing, learning to windsurf, and trying new foods.