With the rise of diabetes, a condition in which blood levels of the sugar glucose run high, more and more people seeking plastic surgery for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes are affected. Scientists and physicians have long known that wound healing is particularly impaired by very high levels of blood sugar. This can result in increased scarring or unattractive results.

A new study published in the October issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery analyzed the rates of specific complications after surgery in patients with diabetes. More specifically, they looked to see if having blood sugar levels above 200 or had blood sugar levels that swung back and forth significantly had more complications than those with more normal levels. They found that those who did not have their blood sugar under tight control were more than three times more likely to have wound dehissence, a condition under which an incision re-opens rather than healing together. 

If you are contemplating surgery and have diabetes, be sure that your facial plastic surgeon and internal medicine or diabetes specialist (endocrinologist) doctors work together so that you can receive the safest, most effective care possible. Unfortunately, surgery may not always be a viable option, depending on your health. But there are other options available, and you may not have to forgo aesthetic treatments altogether.