Can I Wear Plastic Jewelry During Surgery?

Are you wondering if it’s safe to wear plastic jewelry during surgery? While it may seem like a fashionable choice, it’s important to consider the potential risks. In this article, we will explore the potential hazards of wearing plastic jewelry during surgery and discuss the types of jewelry that should be removed before undergoing a procedure. By understanding the importance of maintaining a safe environment, you can make informed decisions about your jewelry choices during surgical procedures.

Key Takeaways

  • Wearing plastic jewelry during surgery poses risks of infection, inaccurate readings, and injury.
  • Metal jewelry must be removed before surgery due to infection, allergic reactions, and MRI safety concerns.
  • Open piercings should be protected during surgery to prevent contamination and promote optimal healing.
  • Jewelry can be secured with tape during surgery for added protection, but this practice is uncommon and at the surgeon’s discretion.

Risks of Wearing Plastic Jewelry During Surgery

Highlighting the potential hazards associated with wearing plastic jewelry during surgical procedures, various risks must be considered and assessed to ensure patient safety. Plastic jewelry, although aesthetically appealing, can pose serious risks in the operating room.

One significant concern is the risk of infection. Plastic jewelry, especially if not properly sterilized, can harbor bacteria and other pathogens that may contaminate the surgical site. Additionally, plastic jewelry can interfere with the accuracy of monitoring devices used during the procedure, such as pulse oximeters and electrocardiogram electrodes.

This interference can lead to inaccurate readings, potentially compromising patient safety. Furthermore, plastic jewelry may also break or shatter, causing injury to both the patient and surgical team. Therefore, it is crucial for healthcare professionals to educate patients about the risks associated with wearing plastic jewelry during surgery and to enforce strict policies regarding its removal prior to any surgical procedure.

Jewelry That Must Be Removed Before Surgery

Certain types of jewelry, such as metal piercings and wristwatches, must be removed before undergoing surgery to prevent potential complications and ensure a safe surgical procedure. The presence of metal jewelry can interfere with medical equipment, cause burns during electrocautery, or even become embedded in the patient’s body. To emphasize the importance of removing jewelry, consider the following:

  • Related Content on Jewelry and Surgery¬†Jewelry can harbor bacteria, increasing the chance of post-operative infections.
  • Allergic reactions: Metal jewelry may trigger allergic reactions, leading to skin irritation or rashes.
  • Surgical site contamination: Jewelry can introduce contaminants into the surgical site, increasing the risk of complications.
  • MRI safety concerns: Metal jewelry can cause injuries or distort images during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
  • Patient safety: Removing jewelry ensures the patient’s safety and prevents avoidable harm during surgery.

Maintaining Open Piercings During Surgery

To ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of infection, it is important to carefully manage and protect open piercings during surgery. Open piercings are susceptible to contamination and can serve as entry points for bacteria, which may lead to complications such as infection.

It is crucial for healthcare professionals to be aware of any open piercings on the patient’s body and take appropriate precautions to maintain their cleanliness and integrity during surgery. This may include covering the piercings with sterile dressings or using adhesive barriers to prevent contact with surgical instruments and fluids.

Additionally, patients should follow the surgeon’s instructions regarding the care and management of their piercings before, during, and after the surgical procedure. By adhering to these guidelines, individuals can promote optimal healing and reduce the risk of complications associated with open piercings during surgery.

Loss of Jewelry During Surgery

While it is uncommon, there is a possibility of jewelry being lost or misplaced during surgery. Surgeons and operating room staff take extensive precautions to prevent this from happening, but accidents can still occur. Here are some reasons why jewelry might be lost during surgery:

  • Movement: The patient’s movements on the operating table can cause jewelry to become dislodged or fall off.
  • Inadvertent removal: In some cases, jewelry may need to be removed by the medical team to ensure patient safety or to facilitate the surgical procedure.
  • Misplacement: Jewelry items may be misplaced during the process of removing them before surgery or when they are handed over to a family member or friend.
  • Contamination: Jewelry can become contaminated during surgery, making it necessary to dispose of it for infection control purposes.
  • Equipment interference: Surgical instruments or equipment used during the procedure can accidentally catch and dislodge jewelry.

While the chances of losing jewelry during surgery are low, it is still advisable to remove all jewelry before undergoing a surgical procedure to minimize any potential risks or complications.

Securing Jewelry With Tape During Surgery

Although it is not a common practice, some surgeons may choose to secure jewelry with tape during surgery to prevent it from becoming dislodged or lost. The use of tape can provide an additional layer of protection for the jewelry, ensuring that it remains in place throughout the procedure.

However, it is important to note that the decision to secure jewelry with tape is at the discretion of the surgeon and may depend on the type and location of the jewelry, as well as the specific surgical procedure being performed. It is always recommended to consult with your surgeon prior to the surgery regarding any concerns or questions about wearing jewelry and its potential security measures.

Scheduling a Consultation

It is important to schedule a consultation with your surgeon prior to the surgery to discuss any concerns or questions about wearing plastic jewelry. This consultation allows you to have a direct conversation with your surgeon and clarify any doubts you may have. During this consultation, you can address the following concerns:

  • Any potential risks or complications associated with the presence of plastic jewelry during surgery. The surgeon’s recommendations regarding the removal of jewelry or the use of alternative materials. The impact of plastic jewelry on the surgical procedure and its potential interference with medical equipment.


  • Any personal preferences or specific requirements you may have regarding jewelry during surgery.
  • The surgeon’s guidelines for post-operative care and when it is safe to wear plastic jewelry again.

Related Content on Jewelry and Surgery


There are various resources available online that provide information on the relationship between jewelry and surgery. It is important for individuals to understand the potential risks and precautions associated with wearing jewelry during surgical procedures. Here is a table summarizing some key points to consider:

Jewelry Type Recommendation
Metal jewelry Remove all metal jewelry before surgery to avoid interference with medical equipment and reduce the risk of burns.
Plastic jewelry It is generally safe to wear plastic jewelry during surgery, as it is non-conductive and does not interfere with medical equipment. However, it is recommended to consult with your surgeon beforehand.
Gemstone jewelry It is advisable to remove gemstone jewelry before surgery, as it may pose a risk of damage or loss.
Piercings Remove all piercings, including earrings, to prevent potential complications during surgery.
Watches and bracelets It is recommended to remove watches and bracelets to ensure optimal hygiene and prevent interference with medical equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Potential Risks of Wearing Metal Jewelry During Surgery?

Potential risks of wearing metal jewelry during surgery include interference with medical equipment, increased risk of infection, and potential for injury to the patient or surgical team. It is important to remove all jewelry before undergoing surgery to minimize these risks.

Can I Wear Plastic Jewelry if I Am Undergoing a Minimally Invasive Surgery?

During minimally invasive surgery, it is generally recommended to remove all jewelry, including plastic ones, to minimize the risk of infection and interference with the procedure. However, it is best to consult with your surgeon for specific guidelines.

Are There Any Alternative Options for Securing Jewelry During Surgery Besides Using Tape?

There are alternative options available for securing jewelry during surgery, apart from using tape. These options ensure the safety of both the patient and the surgical team, while minimizing the risk of complications and ensuring a successful procedure.

How Long Should I Wait Before Getting a New Piercing After Undergoing Surgery?

After undergoing surgery, it is recommended to wait until the incision has fully healed before getting a new piercing. This healing process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the individual and the type of surgery.

Can I Wear Jewelry Made of Other Materials, Such as Wood or Glass, During Surgery?

When undergoing surgery, it is important to avoid wearing jewelry made of materials other than plastic, such as wood or glass. These materials can pose a risk of infection or interfere with medical equipment.


In conclusion, it is crucial to remove plastic jewelry before undergoing surgery to avoid potential risks and complications. Although it may be tempting to keep jewelry on during the procedure, it could lead to infections, interference with medical devices, or even loss of the jewelry itself. To ensure the safety and success of the surgery, it is best to consult with healthcare professionals and follow their recommendations regarding jewelry removal. Remember, sometimes it’s better to let go of the sparkle for a while to ensure a smooth and successful surgery.

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