Cutaneous Surgery in Patients Who Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Dermatologic surgery in pregnant/postpartum patients requires deliberate consideration. Although surgery can be safely performed during any trimester, the second trimester and immediate postpartum period is optimal. Surgery should not be delayed for melanoma/high-risk skin cancers. Perioperative positioning, analgesic, antiseptic, and antibiotic selection should be deliberate to avoid risk to the patient/fetus/infant. The left lateral tilt position reduces aortocaval compression syndrome. Lidocaine and epinephrine can be used safely. Alcohol and chlorhexidine are considered safe. Antibiotics commonly used in skin surgery are safe in pregnancy and lactation. Acetaminophen is first line for pain management. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs should be avoided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDermatologic Clinics
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Cutaneous surgery
  • Dermatologic surgery
  • Lactation
  • Melanoma
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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