An increasing number of cosmetic surgeries are being performed on an annual basis in North America. Surgery is performed for elective purposes, often in accredited out-of-hospital facilities. Routine tests are important before undergoing cosmetic surgery to ensure that a patient is otherwise healthy and fit for elective surgery. Which tests are commonly performed before undergoing elective plastic surgery?

  • Physical examination

In addition to a thorough examination of the surgical site and understanding your aesthetic goals, a complete physical examination is also performed of all body systems to ensure no abnormal findings are present. If any concerns are identified, further testing may be required as guided by clinical examination. Your physical examination may be performed by your family physician or Dr. Power depending on clinical presentation and history. Physical examination includes checking your vital signs to ensure that that your pulse is regular and within a healthy range and that your blood pressure is well-controlled.   A basic cardiac and respiratory exam will also be performed to ensure no murmurs or irregular rhythms are present and that your chest is clear. Further examination will be performed as guided by other medical conditions and physical examination findings before undergoing elective plastic surgery.


Routine lab work

Routine blood work will also be completed a few weeks before elective plastic surgery. Results will be analyzed to assess risk factors for developing systemic and surgical site complications, including bleeding, infection, and delayed wound healing. Blood work is performed to ensure your clotting ability is sufficient before undergoing elective plastic surgery. It also reflects competency of your immune system and ability to fight infection. Deficiencies will be ruled out which may impede wound healing. A pregnancy test will also be performed on all women of child-bearing age before undergoing an elective general anesthetic. Further testing may be performed based on other medical conditions. For example, other markers are checked in diabetic patients to assess blood glucose control.  Results may indicate whether a patient is at increased risk for systemic complications in addition to delayed wound healing or infection post-operatively.


  • Other investigations based on age +/- medical conditions

For patients age 50 or older, an EKG and chest x-ray are routinely ordered to rule out an underlying arrhythmia and to assess cardiac function. The chest x-ray examines the lung fields and assesses the cardiac silhouette pre-operatively. If patients have other medical conditions, further tests may be ordered before undergoing elective plastic surgery. It may also be required to see your specialist pre-operatively for specific recommendations or clearance before proceeding with elective procedures.


Cosmetic surgery is generally performed on healthy patients or those with well-controlled medical conditions. Safety is paramount.  Pre-operative work up is performed to assess one’s overall health and to assess risk of developing complications peri-operatively. This may guide whether any optimization is required before cosmetic surgery or if any contraindications exist.


Please contact us if considering plastic surgery in the Toronto area to schedule a consultation with female plastic surgeon, Dr. Stephanie Power.

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