Can I Have Plastic Surgery If I Have A Kidney Transplant?

Q: Hello Dr. Eppley: I had a kidney transplant in 2006 in which my donor was my identical twin sister. Therefore, would I still be a high risk for the surgery? Fortunately, I do not take any anti-suppresent medications. Thank you.

A: I do have experience performing elective plastic surgery on kidney transplant patients. Ironically, about 10 years ago, I performed face and breast surgery on two sisters who were cadaveric kidney recipients. I performed multiple procedures on them and never had a problem. Just a few months ago, I performed a facelift and rhinoplasty on a man who had a family-given kidney three years previously. In his case as well, he healed without any problems.

The management of surgery on a kidney transplant patient is to first check with their nephrologist and let them know of any surgical plans and get their clearance. As long as there is no risk of excessive  bleeding that would drop one’s intravascular volume and/or require high volumes of fluid or blood products (which no cosmetic procedure involves), then there are no major risks to the kidney or healing. One should not use any anti-inflammatory medications or oher drugs that would have any nephrotoxic effects during or after surgery. Other than these considerations, there should be no problems with undergoing plastic surgery or healing from it.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana