View Full Version : Acrylic nails, toenail polish and surgery

05-01-2010, 09:21 AM
I was told to remove the nail polish and acrylic from my fingernails before surgery. Did you all have to remove everything from your fingernails? Nothing was said about my toes though. Can I keep polish on my toes? If the rest of me is going to feel and look so aweful post op I would love to have some part of me that reminds me of the better days to come. There is something very cheery about bright pink toenails!

Also, as to when to get the last mani and pedi before surgery, how close to the surgery can you do this?

05-01-2010, 09:29 AM
Hello Greenthumb,

You must enjoy gardening?!

The anesthesiologist will need to be able to see the correct color of your fingernails and toenails as part of his/her monitoring. Very important.

We ladies sure do hate to give up our beauty routines. Ask your mani/pedi person to make them beautiful and au natural!

Cheers to you...

05-01-2010, 10:06 AM
I went into surgery with fire-engine-red toenails and nobody said a thing...:cool:

05-01-2010, 10:11 AM
I went into surgery with fire-engine-red toenails and nobody said a thing...:cool:


Maybe things have changed...

05-01-2010, 03:15 PM
hmmmm...i didnt think it has changed...it was/is kinda standard just to be able to check the nails...i was "code blue" once in the hospital in Manhattan, &, while i was semi-hallucinatory, i peered at my finger nails while they were screaming "code blue" on the intercom, and i said in a very weird voice..."ohhhhh...my fingernails are blue...look at that!" :)

you could have someone give you a manicure or pedicure in the hospital when you're recovering...if you're up to it, or not too medicated to care!


05-01-2010, 06:39 PM
My toe nails were the deepest pink. I decided to trim and polish my nails right before surgery knowing I wouldn't be able to reach them again. Nobody said anything to me. It's time for me to get a pedicure now :)

05-01-2010, 10:50 PM
I have silk wrap on my fingers with a french polish and I had it removed before my surgery (toe nail polish, too). Unfortunately, it was a while before I could sit long enough to get the silk put back on again! But I did!

05-01-2010, 11:13 PM
I am a retired Nail Technician (retired 2007). I gave it up due to the pain being too much (unsteady hand). If clients told me they were heading for hospital, I would tell them to delay having any kind of enhancement applied. If they did have acrylic, I would do their service but inform them that, they need to wear their nails natural, as this was protocol for surgery. Apparently they can tell alot about what is going on through the color of your nailbeds. It is not so much the enhancements they worry about, its more if you have lacquer on or not. I would advise having any mani or pedi 1 week before the surgery. :)

05-01-2010, 11:35 PM
welllll...maybe cause when you go code blue...the nails really do turn blue!! i had 2 hours of oxygen left in my bloodstream when it happened!!!


05-01-2010, 11:56 PM
My toes were also polished prior to my surgery. If the instructions say something about fingernails, and doesn't mention toenails, I would assume polish is OK.


05-02-2010, 09:28 AM
There go my plans to get a pedicure and fill right before surgery since I figured it would be weeks before I'd be able to go back. Oh, well. I'll just have to look forward to my first visit when I am able. It sure makes sense not to have the polish or acrylic nails.

05-02-2010, 05:22 PM
Get a french manicure, then you can still see the color of your nailbeds! No acrylic though, you won't be able to get a good O2 Sat.

05-02-2010, 07:23 PM
I am a nurse and it is part of the general assessment of any patient to check the color of the nailbeds. Also sometimes the oxygen saturation monitor they put on your finger sometimes wont read accurately if it has to read through finger nail polish. Knowing all this, I went to the hospital with pink polish on my toes! I had to have some dignity...

Today I tried cutting my toenails for the first time since my surgery. I had to do it while my brace was off. I felt like I needed longer arms! I got the job done but afterwards my hips were hurting. I am sure in time this job will get easier as I regain some of my flexibility. I am a "pelvic person" as Jess says and so far this is the hardest task I have come upon!!!

05-02-2010, 08:00 PM
I am confused about the difference of opinion (and trivialization) of the nail polish issue. This is serious surgery and one is put under deep sedation (why they often/always rouse the patient midway through - what a delightful prospect!)

Assessing the patient's oxygen saturation is VERY important. I'm already not thrilled about the notion of having a two staged operation with such a long level of unconsciousness. At least, I want them to be able to do the most accurate assessment of my status as possible! You may or may not have read about the recent findings that patients undergoing open-heart surgery, appear to suffer permanent cognitive deficits because of oxygen deprivation.

I've had general anaesthesia almost two dozen times (including such things as colonoscopy - they knock you out for it now). Not wearing nail polish, eye shadow or lipstick, was always de rigueur and I didn't try to get around it - no matter how hunky the surgeon was. (Hint to you know who, to fess up:p).

Not that I have no vanity! I sneak in some eyeliner and eyebrow pencil . They aren't indicative of health and make a big difference in my pale face. :D

05-02-2010, 08:51 PM
According to the book that Charlotte hospital gave me you can keep your acrylic nails on but you must remove all polish . Now I am getting really nervous. Tuesday at 4:45 am is very far away


05-03-2010, 07:25 AM
Since different surgeons seem to have different requirements, this is an ideal question for a pre-op appointment.

05-03-2010, 05:49 PM

I'll bet they'll just say to speak to the anesthesiology staff. Surgeons seems to like to stick to their own terrain - from post op rehab and housing (social services), to nailbed and pre-op fasting (anesthesiology) to PT.

All unless they have some special fixation about permitted (or forbidden) forms of exercise or some other strong (but not universally shared) preference. :p

05-04-2010, 12:55 PM
I had a french nail look done to my fingernails (it was called "pink and white") and I had my toenails bright pink with little flowers painted on both big toes to cheer me up. No mention was made of not doing that. Here, almost 5 wks post op, I still haven't gotten back to have them redone, and they still look pretty good!

05-04-2010, 07:06 PM
I had my surgeries done at Johns Hopkins and the "Preparing for Surgery" info I was given said, "no make-up of any kind, deodorants, lotions, perfumes, hair products, nail polish, etc." I went in completely devoid of all 'beautification.' So Weird!

However, when I was getting ready the morning of surgery, it sure made things super easy! which I appreciated since we had to leave the house at 3:30 am for the drive in to Baltimore.

After the surgery I was not thinking about nail polish or make-up. That came after I returned home and even then I didn't care that much. It was a nice break from routine and nothing to maintain.

The need for accurate physical assessment during surgery should take precedence over beauty anyday! And I'm sure a patient's allure is the last thing on any surgeon's mind - at least during operating hours! :p

05-04-2010, 09:52 PM
I agree, Julie, as I said earlier. And I know how sorely you must have been tempted :p !

But your post reminded me on the broader issue. They don't want you to use the other products apart from make-up and nail polish. They also want you to refrain from perfume, hair products, etc.

That first and foremost, because they need to be able to assess your intra-operative status - this includes even smells which could indicate abnormalities, from say. extreme sweating or loss of bowel or bladder function.

What's more, if you needed an emergency MRI or even Xray, there are plenty of powders and hair products containing silica and metals which can compromise image quality.

Having had dozens of MRIs I know the routine there, and all of you who who have had mammograms, must have been instructed to skip talcs and deodorants for the same reason. They might otherwise think they see tiny calcifications which were artefacts of your beauty routines!

Sucks! But safety, first. (I have been able thus far to rationalize that little bit of eyeliner and brow shaping - as long as I don't use any glitter products! :D )