HINGHAM, MA  (781) 740-7840      BOSTON, MA (617) 306-3175      NANTUCKET, MA (508) 901-9239      Facebook

What to Do If You Catch a Cold Prior to Your Surgery

In Boston, scheduling plastic surgery during the fall or winter can be convenient, but it also happens to be the time of year when people tend to get colds or the flu. What should you do if you wake up with a sore throat and runny nose before your scheduled surgery?

While it is important to be healthy when you undergo elective surgery, a minor cold might not require rescheduling. The timing and the severity of the illness is important in making the decision to postpone a procedure, and patient safety is always my priority when I weigh the options.

In this blog post, I’ll explain the guidelines we use for making decisions about whether to reschedule surgeries. It’s important that patients contact us when they first notice symptoms of a cold. Whether it’s a few days or a few weeks before your scheduled surgery date, it’s a good idea to let us know and provide updates on your condition.

Should Surgery Be Postponed?

A significant, nagging cough most likely will require us to reschedule most surgical procedures, especially if they’re performed using a general anesthetic. General anesthesia can irritate the airway and make a cough worse. Certain procedures, such as a tummy tuck, are especially difficult for a patient with a cough. On the other hand, a minor cough that is associated with post-nasal drip probably won’t require a delay.

A mild sore throat with no other symptoms is probably not a reason to cancel surgery. You should be aware, though, that the anesthetic may make your sore throat a little worse for a day or two. A raging sore throat with swollen tonsils is certainly a good reason to cancel surgery.

Other cold-like symptoms include:

  • Runny nose: If no other symptoms exist, it shouldn’t interfere with anesthesia or recovery. A sinus infection, whether it’s viral or bacterial, will result in postponing surgery.
  • Fever: Any fever indicates your body is fighting off some type of infection or illness and will require us to reschedule your surgery.

If you’re unsure about whether or not to contact us, I recommend erring on the side of caution. The earlier we hear from patients about potential illness, the sooner we can determine whether surgery needs to be rescheduled.

Staying Healthy Before Surgery

Being proactive when it comes to your health is always a good idea. It especially holds true if you’re planning elective surgery during the fall or winter, when co-workers, family, and friends are more likely to get sick. Here are a few simple tips to help you avoid becoming ill:

  • Increase vitamin C: Consuming foods rich in vitamin C or taking supplements can boost your immune system.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water and minimizing alcohol consumption is important to maintaining your health.
  • Eat healthy foods: Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Wash your hands: This can’t be repeated enough. Wash your hands throughout the day.
  • Get adequate sleep: If you’re run-down and tired, the chances of getting sick are much higher.

Additionally, patients who smoke need to stop at least 4 weeks before surgery (something that’s required for all patients year-round).

If you’re considering cosmetic plastic surgery in the Boston area, you can contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call any of our 3 locations to schedule an appointment: Hingham (781) 740-7840, Boston (617) 306-3175, or Nantucket (508) 901-9239.

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Dax Guenther, MD
Coastal Plastic Surgery
2 Pond Park Road #308
Hingham, MA 02043
Phone: (781) 740-7840
Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday, 7 a.m.–2 p.m.
Before/after hours appointments available
Dax Guenther, MD
The Boston Center
170 Commonwealth Avenue #108
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 306-3175
Appointments available upon request
Dax Guenther, MD
RJ Miller Salon + Spa
6b Amelia Dr
Nantucket, MA 02554
Phone: (508) 901-9239
Appointments available upon request
Dax Guenther, M.D. is board-certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery ASAPS, The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Dax Guenther, M.D. is board-certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery FACS, Fellow American College of Surgeons

Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.


Dr. is a board-certified plastic surgeon with offices in Hingham, Boston, and Nantucket, Massachusetts. Dr. Guenther sees patients from Boston's South Shore and cities such as Cohasset, Scituate, Duxbury, Plymouth, Mashpee, Milton, and Brookline. He performs facelift, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, breast augmentation, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), liposuction and other procedures.

Map of Hingham Location
Dax Guenther, MD
Coastal Plastic Surgery
2 Pond Park Road #308
Hingham, MA 02043
Phone: (781) 740-7840
Map of Boston Location
Dax Guenther, MD
The Boston Center
170 Commonwealth Avenue #108
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 306-3175
Map of Nantucket Location
Dax Guenther, MD
RJ Miller Salon + Spa
6b Amelia Dr
Nantucket, MA 02554
Phone: (508) 901-9239
Associations Logos

Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.

Dr. is a board-certified plastic surgeon with offices in Hingham, Boston, and Nantucket, Massachusetts. Dr. Guenther sees patients from Boston's South Shore and cities such as Cohasset, Scituate, Duxbury, Plymouth, Mashpee, Milton, and Brookline. He performs facelift, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, breast augmentation, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), liposuction and other procedures.