Cold and flu season is here! It’s peak time for catching a bug, but if you have surgery coming up soon, you may wonder: Can you have surgery with a cold? Getting sick before or after surgery can really throw your plans out of whack. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the world; in most cases, having a cold won’t affect your ability to get the surgical procedure that you need. However, there are some risks associated with having surgery for a cold. Read on to learn more about whether you can have surgery with a cold.
Can You Have Surgery With A Cold?
When you have a cold, your immune system is a little bit down, but not out. You’re likely to get better on your own without treatment. The same thing applies to having surgery while you have a cold. You’re likely to be fine if you get treated properly. A cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by a variety of viruses that affect the mucous membranes of the nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs. Most people will get a cold at some point in their lives; generally, most people are treated as outpatients because the infections are so common that most doctors will treat them only with rest and fluids.
When You Can Have Surgery With A Cold?
You have an infected implant or piercing
If you have an infection around the site of your implant or piercing, then it is more likely to become infected during surgery. In these cases, your surgeon may choose to remove the implant or piercing in order to prevent the infection from spreading. Because an infection around the implant or piercing site can be dangerous, your surgeon may recommend removing the implant or piercing even if there are no signs of infection. This is because infections can take some time to show symptoms, and your surgeon may not want to take the risk. Additionally, if the infection is severe enough you may be prescribed antibiotics before surgery. However, if you are allergic to penicillin, your surgeon may recommend that you postpone the surgery until the infection clears up
You are recovering from a case of the mumps
People with mumps should avoid surgery until the swelling around their face and neck subsides. This swelling can make it difficult for your surgeon to work around your mouth, nose, and neck—all of which are essential to surgery. If you are advised to postpone your surgery until the swelling subsides, you must also wait to resume normal activities until your condition has healed. This is because mumps is highly contagious and you can spread the infection to others.
Your shingles have caused nerve damage
If your shingles have caused nerve damage, then you may be unable to feel pain. This means that you may not be able to feel the surgeon pushing on your organs during surgery. This lack of sensation can be dangerous if your surgeon accidentally nicks your organs. In these cases, your surgeon may recommend postponing your surgery until the shingle’s symptoms have subsided. This is because future surgeries may be unnecessarily risky if your surgeon is unable to feel when they’re cutting into your organs.
You have an abdominal condition that requires surgery
Certain abdominal conditions make surgery risky. For example, if you have ascites or an abdominal hernia, then your surgeon may recommend postponing your surgery until the condition is resolved. This is because these conditions can make it difficult for your surgeon to properly access your abdominal cavity. Additionally, if you have a condition such as a bowel obstruction, it is important to resolve it before having surgery. This is because your surgeon may need to rearrange your organs in order to access the affected area. In cases such as these, your surgeon may recommend postponing the procedure until the condition is resolved.
During labor and delivery
Surgery is generally not advised during labor and delivery. However, there are certain instances where this may not be an option. If you suffer from an abdominal condition that worsens during pregnancy, then you may need surgery while you are pregnant. Additionally, if you experience complications during childbirth, your surgeon may recommend postponing the procedure until after you have given birth. In cases like these, your surgeon will have to weigh the benefits and risks of the surgery. For example, if you have a condition that worsens during pregnancy, waiting until after you give birth may increase the risk of complications. On the other hand, having the surgery while you are pregnant may increase the risk of complications for you and your baby.
When You Shouldn’t Have Surgery For A Cold?
You have a bad cough
You may think that a cough is a normal part of having a cold. But when the tissue inside your lungs is irritated, your cough may be deep and productive. It may produce yellow or green mucus. If your cough is so deep that you’re coughing up blood, that’s a sign that your lung tissue is seriously inflamed. You should wait to have surgery until you’re over your infection.
You have a fever.
Your body is producing more white blood cells while you have a cold. But when your white blood cell count is too high, it’s a sign that your immune system is attacking your own body. Surgery is always a bit of a risk. But it’s dangerous if your white blood cell count is too high. Your blood may not clot properly. There’s an increased risk of your blood vessels leaking blood.
You feel extremely weak.
When you have a cold, you may feel more tired than usual. But if you feel extremely weak, you may be fighting an infection that’s attacking your muscles. Your body needs to be at its strongest for surgery. If you’re fighting an infection and your muscles are already starting to shut down, you may not be able to handle the stress of surgery. You shouldn’t have surgery until the infection is under control.
Your breathing is compromised.
If you have trouble breathing with a cold, it’s a sign that your airways are inflamed. You may be coughing up thick mucus. Your nose may be drippy. You may be blowing your nose, but not getting much out. You may be wheezing and have shortness of breath. If your cold is affecting your breathing, it’s a sign that your body is fighting against the cold. But it may also mean that your airways are too inflamed to handle surgery.
You have difficulty walking or moving.
If your cold is really advanced, you may be so weak that you have trouble walking or moving. You may be so tired that you barely have the energy to take care of yourself, let alone handle surgery. You don’t want your cold to become so advanced that you have trouble walking or moving. That’s a sign that your cold has become so severe that you should wait to have surgery.
What Are The Risks Of Having Surgery For A Cold?
- The risk of acquiring a post-operative infection after surgery is approximately 2%-3% regardless of whether or not you have a cold. However, people who have a cold before surgery are at an increased risk of complications due to their weakened immune systems.
- Having a cold before surgery can increase your risk of contracting a post-operative infection by an estimated 30%.
- If you have a cold before surgery, your risk of acquiring a post-operative infection is higher than it would be if you didn’t have a cold.
- The risk of death due to a post-operative infection is higher as well. In addition, having a cold before surgery may prolong your recovery time.
If you have a cold before or after surgery, you should rest as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. You should also take any medication that your doctor has prescribed you. The best way to prevent a cold is to wash your hands often and stay away from people who are sick. If you do get a cold, try to get treatment as soon as possible. If you have a cold before surgery, your surgeon will likely recommend postponing your surgery. However, you’ll probably feel better quickly, so it’s best to have surgery as soon as possible afterward.