Does Jewelry Have to be Removed Before Surgery?

If you are preparing for surgery, your doctor will likely ask you to remove your jewelry but this is not always easy if you have a new piercing or a beloved piece of jewelry you wear daily, such as a wedding ring. The policy often changes between doctors and it depends on where your jewelry is located. Sometimes, taping the jewelry is an option if you cannot or do not want to remove the jewelry.

Why You Should Remove Jewelry

During your surgery, there are a lot of moving parts and people in the operating room. One of the biggest risks is that your jewelry could be snagged by your surgical gown, the surgeon’s gloves or clothing, or the wires monitoring your heartbeat and other vitals. If your jewelry gets caught, the skin around the piercing site could be torn or damaged, which leaves you at risk for infection.

Another concern is the oxidization of certain metals found in jewelry that could pose a fire hazard or risk of surgical burns on the skin depending on the medical equipment used. These metals could also contaminate the surgical site and lead to unnecessary infection or other complications.

Some people worry that taping will cause their skin to get irritated or inflamed, but that’s not usually the case. It’s usual for people with sensitive skin to experience some redness when they tape their jewelry on, but it usually goes away quickly.

When is it Safe to Tape Jewelry?

Whether or not you can tape your jewelry, as opposed to removing it, depends on the type of surgery you are having and Dr. Berman’s recommendation. Jewelry that is almost always removed includes piercings on the tongue, nose, or genitals. Tongue piercings can be especially dangerous when you are having surgery under general anesthesia since the intubation tube can cause those piercings to click against the teeth and get in the way of safe intubation.

Wedding rings may be difficult to remove if the knuckle has thickened due to arthritis so it may be possible to tape them. A medical-grade tape will be used to keep the area sterilized. Earrings can also sometimes be taped to prevent a new piercing from closing up.

Have Questions? Call Our Office!

If you have any concerns about removing or taping your jewelry, you can call Dr. Berman’s office and they will be happy to answer any questions you might have! Dr. Berman’s goal is to provide a safe surgery while also keeping you comfortable throughout the entire procedure.

Dr. Jonathan Ross Berman is a Boca Raton plastic surgeon who has been certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery with over 30 years of service experience specializing in Breast Augmentation, Rhinoplasty, Face Lift, Liposuction, and many other types of plastic surgery in Boca Raton, FL.

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