Can patients with lupus have plastic surgery?
Lupus is a disease of the blood vessels and healing can be unpredictable in these patients. In a worse case scenario, areas of the skin can die (skin necrosis) leaving a real mess. Making this potentially worse is the fact that the medications a Lupus patient tends to be on include drugs that further inhibit healing….like steroids and immunosuppressive drugs.
Some Lupus patients with deforming conditions like breast cancer after mastectomy will have reconstructive plastic surgery to rebuild their breasts. This is higher risk surgery than in healthier patients. These cases need to be considered individually with the patient’s Rheumatologist in the loop to assess her risk and best course of action. Some patients with less involved disease can have smaller operations, but are still at increased risk of problems.
John Di Saia MD
Originally posted 2010-11-04 07:30:08.