If you’re wearing eyelash extensions and your surgery is on the agenda, it’s common to wonder if you need to remove the extensions first. You might even wonder how long after surgery you’ll be able to wear eyelash extensions again.
Throughout my lashing career, I’ve had a few clients scheduled for surgery asking me about this so I decided to write an article on the topic.
So, can you have eyelash extensions during surgery?
Eyelash extensions should be removed for surgery for hygienic reasons. Moreover, patients undergoing general anesthesia have their eyes taped shut to prevent infections and other harmful conditions. Therefore, damage to the lashes might be caused when the tape is removed.
In this article, I’ll share the details about wearing eyelash extensions before and after eye and non-eye surgeries so that you don’t go unprepared.
Let’s get started!
Can You Have Eyelash Extensions During Surgery?
No, you shouldn’t wear lash extensions or even makeup when going in for surgery. The main reason is that they can promote bacterial and fungal infections from surgical wounds.
On top of that, your eyes are shut when under anesthesia with medical-grade tape. This procedure is done to prevent corneal abrasion, scratching, and dry eyes.
Another reason for taping the eyes shut during surgery is to cope with the lack of blink reflex. Without this reflex, your eyes don’t naturally clean out the debris. So, there’s a higher chance of infections when your eyes aren’t shut.
At the end of the surgery, this tape is removed. Hence, there’s a high chance you might lose a few false lashes when they peel out the tape.
So, why lose your precious extensions in the process or have gaps after?
According to Dr. Sheaffer Williams, an anesthesiologist, it’s better to remove the extensions for surgery. He states: “We tape or cover the eyes with a clear plastic dressing to prevent corneal scratching. Extensions will likely be torn off and at worst will be dislodged and cause corneal abrasions. Leave your makeup off too.”
Now, not all surgeries are the same. You don’t always need general anesthesia.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common surgeries where you might be wondering if keeping your lash extensions is safe.
1. Eyelash Extensions During BBL Surgery
BBL surgery, also known as a Brazilian Butt Lift, is a cosmetic procedure that involves transferring unwanted fat from one area of the body to the buttocks. This is done through liposuction. The fat is then injected into the buttocks. The procedure was designed to help people achieve a shapely and perky backside.
When you are getting ready for surgery to take place, it is important to make it as easy as possible on yourself.
While eyelash extensions can help you look great, they can get in the way during surgery. In addition, the chemicals used in some eyelash extensions may not be ideal for the area around your eyes after surgery.
The main reason why eyelash extensions aren’t recommended during BBL surgery is that they could cause an infection. During plastic surgery procedures, there will be cuts made on your skin so that the doctor can either insert implants or remove fat from different parts of your body.
The last thing you want after going through all of this discomfort is an eye infection or another type of bacterial infection.
2. Eyelash Extensions During C-Section
Eyelash extensions can be a real confidence booster. Several women want to look their best on the day of delivery (or any other important event for that matter!)
But what happens if the delivery doesn’t go as planned and you need a C-Section? Could you keep your lash extensions?
According to the Northwest Memorial Hospital, nail polish, hairpins, false eyelashes, hearing aids, dentures, hairpieces and jewelry, cannot be worn during surgery.
Most C-sections are done under a regional anesthesia but sometimes general anesthesia might be required.
3. Eyelash Extensions During Rhinoplasty
A rhinoplasty is a common cosmetic surgery. It is mostly used to change the shape of the nose. During this procedure, the surgeon will make incisions in the nose, separate the skin from the bone and cartilage, remove or add tissue as necessary, and then put everything back in place.
Although a rhinoplasty doesn’t interfere with your eyes, there are multiple reasons why you might still want to remove your eyelash extensions for the surgery.
According to Jacqueline T. Cheng, MD: “False eyelashes may contain bacteria and lead to infection. Also, false eyelashes may get damaged by the surgical tape used around the eyes by your anesthesiologist.”
4. Eyelash Extensions During Eye Surgery
Eye surgery centers will have their own protocol for you to follow. It is best to consult with your surgical center to know what their guidelines are about eyelash extensions.
Most eye surgeries will require the removal of eyelash extensions to avoid infections and have easier access to the surgical area.
Some may even trim your lash extensions during the treatment if they get in the way!
For example, here is the Wilkinson Eye Center policy for eyelash extensions: “If you get eyelash extensions done on a regular basis, we may encourage you to have them removed before Lasik. Long, artificial eyelashes may get in the way of the surgery and make it harder for us to do our job. If you can’t have them removed, we may trim them down a little bit so they aren’t in the way.”
How Many Days Before Surgery Should You Remove Eyelash Extensions?
it is recommended to remove eyelash extensions at least one week before surgery in most cases. This period is needed because chemicals used for removing the lash extensions may interact with surgical medicines.
Please make sure to check with your surgeon to know the exact recommendation for the surgery you will have.
How Long After Surgery Can You Wear Eyelash Extensions?
The rule of thumb is to wait until your doctor approves you to get eyelash extensions. This usually depends on how your body is recuperating post-surgery.
It is crucial to respect your surgeon’s instructions to achieve the best postoperative outcome.
Let’s take a look at some specific surgeries in greater detail.
1. Eyelash Extensions After Rhinoplasty
Most surgeons would recommend avoiding makeup or any facial product for up to 3 weeks after rhinoplasty.
Even if lash extensions do not touch the nose directly, the application process is more of a concern. If pressure would be applied to the nose during the application of lash extensions, this could be problematic for your post-surgical outcome.
2. Eyelash Extensions After Eye Surgery
The most common protocol is to wait at least 1 month after corrective eye surgery to get a new set of eyelash extensions.
According to UCLA Health Center, the one month period is required to avoid getting debris or glue in your eyes.
3. Eyelash Extensions After Other Non-facial Surgeries
if you’re going through non-facial surgeries, getting eyelash extensions within three weeks or sooner may be approved by the doctor. However, false lashes aren’t generally approved that quickly in most cases because there are higher chances of infections post-surgery.
While nurses can wear eyelash extensions at the hospital, the same doesn’t hold for patients during surgery.
As every surgery is crucial, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s advice to the letter. And that includes not wearing any makeup or jewelry, including eyelash extensions.
As you learned above, anesthesiologists tape your eyes shut during surgery to avoid corneal abrasion and infections. They’re strictly instructed to prevent contaminations in a sterile space (Operation Theater).
Moreover, if you have extensions on, they may even fall out unevenly when the tape is peeled out post-surgery. But suppose your doctor approves of wearing lash extensions. In that case, you can always go for a refill after surgery, even if they fall out.
The risk of keeping your lash extensions during surgery is just not worth it. Sure you might pay a little more to get them removed followed by a new set, but that peace of mind is worth a lot more.
Fake eyelashes (strip lashes) are avoided during surgery as a precautionary measure, but only your doctor can make the final call regarding it. So, make sure to clear your doubts with the concerned doctor first.
Continued Readings on DivineLashes.ca: If you would like to know about other situations where you can or shouldn’t wear eyelash extensions, check out my article on nurses and lash extensions, military and lash extensions, how to get lash extensions while pregnant and my eyelash extensions Do’s and Don’ts guide.
- Dr. Sheaffer Williams (2018). I have eyelash extensions, what will happen to them during surgery? Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/I-have-eyelash-extensions-what-will-happen-to-them-during-surgery/answer/Sheaffer-Williams (Accessed on 7 April 2022).
- Northwest Memorial Hospital. Patient Education About Your Surgery. Retrieved from https://maternalfetal.nm.org/uploads/1/0/9/4/109455409/northwestern-medicine-cesarean-birth-nmh.pdf (Accessed on 7 April 2022).
- Jacqueline T. Cheng, MD (2018). Can you wear false eyelashes if you are getting a nose job? Retrieved from https://www.realself.com/question/los-angeles-ca-wear-false-eyelashes-nose-job (Accessed on 7 April 2022).
- Wilkinson Eye Center. How to Prepare for Lasik. Retrieved from https://www.wilkinsoneye.com/how-to-prepare-for-lasik/ (Accessed on 7 April 2022).
- UCLA Health. Laser Vision Correction FAQs. Retrieved from https://www.uclahealth.org/lrc/faqs/ (Accessed on 7 April 2022).