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What happens if I test positive for Covid-19 before surgery?

Breast Augmentation / Breast Reduction / Tummy Tucks / Mummy Makeover / Surgical Tips

20 Jul 2022

What happens if I test positive for Covid-19 before surgery?

With a new wave of Covid-19 infection, RSV and other nasty cold and flu viruses rapidly circulating this winter, many of our patients are concerned about what will happen if they test positive to Covid-19 or become unwell prior to surgery. Read on to learn our best tips for staying healthy prior to surgery and reducing the risk of having your surgery cancelled, as well as the most current guidelines for Covid-19 and elective surgery.


Our top tips for avoiding sickness this winter (and having your surgery cancelled!)

1. Avoid contact with anyone with Covid-19 or cold and flu symptoms

It goes without saying, but you should avoid contact with any person who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 or is experiencing cold and flu symptoms. If you are a household or β€˜close’ contact, you should do your best to isolate from the Covid-positive person prior to surgery to avoid infection.

2. Avoid unnecessary outings 10 days before surgery

We recommend limiting your movement outside the home for at least 10 days prior to surgery to avoid any last-minute infection. If you do need to leave your home, try to choose open, well-ventilated spaces or open a window in indoor settings. Maintain a safe distance from others (at least one metre), even if they do not appear to be sick. Limit large or public gatherings where practical.

3. Wear a mask

Leading up to surgery it is best to wear a mask in public settings, especially indoors or when physical distancing is not possible.

4. Support your immune system

Some patients have found they have managed to avoid cold or flu symptoms prior to surgery by taking immune boosting supplements such as Vitamin C. We recommend you cease supplements one week before surgery.

5. Follow your pre-operative instructions

Follow your pre-operative instructions diligently, especially those around drinking alcohol and smoking. We recommend you stop drinking alcohol at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. You must avoid smoking and nicotine consumption for as long as possible prior to surgery. Dr Moncrieff does not operate on smokers.


What if I test positive for Covid-19 before surgery?

If you test positive for Covid-19 prior to your surgery, please call our team ASAP on 4920 7700 to discuss next steps. We require a positive PCR test result in order to reschedule your surgery.


Will my surgery need to be rescheduled if I have Covid?

If you test positive to Covid-19 prior to surgery, your procedure may need to be rescheduled. The timing of your surgery post Covid-19 infection will be risk assessed by Dr Moncrieff and your anaesthetist and scheduled accordingly. In order to proceed with surgery, your symptoms must have resolved.

Scheduling a new surgery date will depend on choice of hospital and theatre availability, so although your anaesthetist may clear you to have surgery in four weeks’ time, we cannot guarantee a new surgery date will be available in this period. In this case, we are happy to schedule you the next available surgery date and place you on our cancellation list.


What if I am negative for Covid-19, but have a cold, flu, RSV or other respiratory symptoms before surgery?

If you have tested negative to Covid but are experiencing cold and flu symptoms leading up to your surgery, please give one of our friendly team a call on 4920 7700. We will alert Dr Moncrieff and your anaesthetist and will ask you to monitor your symptoms as your surgery date gets closer. Our nursing team will be in contact with you prior to surgery to assess the progression of your illness. Your anaesthetist may also contact you directly to discuss your symptoms.

If you have recently recovered from a cold or flu virus, your anaesthetist will perform a physical assessment at the hospital on the morning of surgery to ensure you may safely undergo your procedure.


Can I join the cancellation list for an earlier surgery date?

Absolutely! With the current surge of Covid, RSV and flu this winter, we have had several patients become unwell and require surgery to be rescheduled at short notice. For patients already scheduled for surgery with Dr Moncrieff, this does mean a sooner surgery date may become available. If you would like to be placed on our cancellation list, please call one of our friendly team a call on 4920 7700.


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Practice Nurse Alecia Baker

Blog Author:

Alecia Baker, Practice Nurse, Hunter Plastic Surgery

About Alecia

Alecia joined us as our Practice Nurses in 2018. She is a Registered Nurse with extensive experience in nursing and patient management in some of the busiest hospital settings in the Hunter! She really cares about helping our patients become healthy and happy. Her kind and calm manner help them feel comfortable during their journey with us.

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