Cosmetic Surgery in Austin Can Be Safe in the Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Austin Plastic Surgeon Dr. Piazza

Dr. Rocco C. Piazza
A Diplomate of The American Board of Plastic Surgery

Recently, I have had several young patients in Austin that desire plastic surgery and yet, these patients come to me uncertain if they can undergo procedures like breast augmentation and tummy tuck.  In Austin, we are lucky to have a tight-knit medical community where physicians collaborate to provide quality care to our patients.  In a disease, like Rheumatoid Arthritis, a number of medications can be used life-long to help prevent episodes known as “flare-ups” so that these patients have a good quality of life.  Some of the medications used alter the immune system to relieve patients of symptoms attributed with the disease.  The same medications can affect a patient’s ability to heal well.  In a situation where we are performing elective surgery, like cosmetic procedures, it is important that the plastic surgeon coordinate care with the patient’s Rheumatologist and Primary Care Provider.  The patient’s current medication profile needs to be reviewed and determined if there are wound healing obstacles present.  We can use supplementation with Vitamin A to help improve wound healing in patients who are on long-term steroids.  Also, staging procedures and keeping operating room and anesthesia time at a minimum can also improve patient outcomes.

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