Over 30 million living Americans have diabetes. But, what does this mean for diabetics considering plastic surgery? Is this such a big deal? Diabetes can have a huge impact on the way the body heals. This is why it is critical to consider your overall health and any underlying medical conditions, including diabetes before you undergo plastic surgery. Consulting with a surgeon such as Joel Aronowitz can help you decide whether you are a good candidate.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a medical condition in which a person has higher than normal blood sugar levels. Typically, your insulin regulates your blood sugar but this isn’t the case with diabetics. In diabetics, either their body isn’t adequately producing enough insulin or the insulin isn’t being used as it should.
Type 1 diabetes is considered juvenile diabetes and can develop no matter a person’s age. It occurs when the immune system destroys the pancreas’ ability to make insulin. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is when a person’s body is not able to properly use insulin, which means that a person must take medications to boost the insulin within the body.
Diabetes & Plastic Surgery
Having a medical condition such as diabetes makes any type of medical care more challenging. Diabetes is associated with various complications that can arise, such as kidney and heart disease, nerve damage, and stroke. This is why diabetes must always be considered if you are undergoing a medical procedure, including plastic surgery.
Diabetes was associated with major surgical complications following post-operative surgery. Diabetics who take insulin are at an even more increased risk of developing these complications following surgery.
Diabetes increases a person’s risk of developing an infection at the surgical site and can even delay wound healing following surgery. This is due to higher-than-normal blood sugar levels that can cause an increase in inflammation and suppress the immune system. Wounds that heal poorly can cause ill-favored scarring and can deliver dissatisfaction with plastic surgery results.
However, this doesn’t mean that every diabetic should not avoid having plastic surgery or that you will indeed experience complications because you have diabetes. But, it just increases your risk of experiencing those complications.
It is also important to note that many people do particularly fine despite their need to be at an increased risk of infections or wound healing issues.
If you are a diabetic considering plastic surgery, it is critical that you see your primary care doctor first to make sure that your blood sugar levels are in check and that you are deemed healthy enough. All patients will undergo a fasting glucose check before their surgery. For diabetic patients, doctors will typically add a hemoglobin A1C test to the lab work to ensure that the patient is properly controlling their diabetes.
As mentioned above, if you are a diabetic patient that is considering plastic surgery, talk to your doctor about it first. Include your doctor in your decision and make sure that you select a plastic surgeon that understands diabetes and is certain to take the necessary precautions.