Safe to Have Surgery with Active Infection?

Question Below Submitted By:  

Jeanne (a patient from NJ)

I am scheduled for lap band surgery in two days. I have been on antibiotics for two days for a dental infection. It will have been 5 days of antibiotics by day of surgery.

What are the risks and statistics of problems in a someone that has an infection pre-surgery?

I have been told the band being an implant could be open to infection, but can’t find any information the what has been documented in the past.

Is it a serious risk to proceed before my medicine (antibiotics) has been completed?


Expert Responses to the Question Above

Surgeon Response to "Safe to Have Surgery with Active Infection?"

by: John Rabkin, M.D., Pacific Laparoscopy


In general, it would be best to postpone an elective surgical procedure, particularly one involving an implantable device like a LapBand, until whatever infection you have has resolved.

For a routine dental infection, 5 days of antibiotics should suffice, but I'd check with the dentist who prescribed the course of antibiotics to confirm that the infection will have been adequately treated and cleared from your system before proceeding with the LapBand procedure.

If there is any doubt, I'd recommend that you postpone the LapBand procedure until any concerns with regard to active untreated infection have been resolved.

John Rabkin,
M.D. Pacific Laparoscopy

(click here for Dr. Rabkin's full bio & contact info)

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

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