this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

I have searched and searched the book they gave me about next weeks surgery. it talks about deoderant, cream, false teeth piercings but says nothing about nail varnish.

i am a slut, never look after my nails, with gardening drumming and dogs it would be a loosing battle.

tomorrow at crack of dawn i set off on a weeks holiday , and go into get my WLE the day I get back and thought I would lash out and get gel nails to look a bit more groomed and glamorous over the next few weeks. not what i would normally spend on me, but hey once in a lifetime treat. fingers and toes now a pretty chip free pink.

After I had them done the subject of the op came up and she looked horrified,’ but you cannot have surgery with nail polish on, they will try and take it off and then when they can’t they will cancel the op"

all complete news to me–its done now, cannot get hold of the breast nurse before i go to ask, no time to ask her when i get back. wonder if the help line is open?

should i just play safe and pay for them to be taken off over in france, or is the girl completely wrong. I am sure it would be in the book if that is what is required. Just discussed it with a friend and she said of course you cannot wear nail varnish during an operation–everyone knows that.

So help girls–is this true?? what should i do?

Get it taken off - they attach something to your finger and they need to see the colour of your “real” nail… your friend is right I’m afraid. They keep packs of nail varnish remover in theatre, but that won’t help the gel… enjoy the holiday though! Jane

I have been told in the past that one of the indications of oxygen deprivation is that your finger nails and toe nails start to go blue, which is why they ask you to remove nail varnish.

Sorry - but you can’t wear nail varnish in an op. It’s because they use your nail colour as a marker of your circulation.

I know, I know - you’d think that in this day and age they’d have something a bit more technical but that’s the way it is still.

I took mine off last week, to reveal toes that looked like they belonged to a corpse, fortunately they can’t have just used this to inform them of my life status or i may have ended waking up in an undertakers!

You can buy nail varnish remover for gel/acrylic nails, maybe you could have some of this ready for when you get home.

Hi i had my operation 2 weeks ago and was told before i went to make sure i had no nail varnish ,make up or jewelry on . Hope that helps.
Have a fab holiday .
Lisha xx

hi, OAL! good 4 u getting r bits and bobs done before ur hol and op! my hubby treated me 2 luxury manicure and pedi couple days b4 my op.had the natural pink polish i think u said? looked very pretty! i refusedc to take mine off and nurse agreed. gosh was only under anaestetic 4 couple of hrs and i wanted to have pretty nails after. and a nice merlot. love alex xxx

ps , had my wle and snb with hot pink toes!!!

The ladies are right. The anethatist (sp) needs to check the nail colour while you are under.

well at my pre-op assesment when they wanted to take blood i persuaded them that it was not worth ruining my day, and they agreed not to take any.

perhaps there is more patient power nowadays.

hopefully someone else will come along that kept theirs on. i might write an old fashioned letter to the cancer nurse for her to answer whilst i am away

and why is it not in the book, everything else is there, make-up jewellery deoderant etc Just checked again, its the breast cancer care book, that should be accurate

Personally I wouldn’t wear it. If you really don’t want to remove it, why don’t you take some good nail varnish remover and cotton wool with you and then if you have to take it off you can. But check before you reach the operating theatre!

I have to say I’m surprised at people being allowed to have it on. I used to be a nurse and it was a definite no-no because the anaesthetist may need to see how well-perfused the nails are. It’s a precaution like many things.

I’m all for glamour at all times but perhaps this is an exception.

Elinda x

trouble is nail varnish remover will not get it off, i have to pay £20 for it to be taken off, of course if it necessary i will bite the bullet, but it would be annoying to do it and find that it would have been ok

Sorry Old and Lumpy, but even what it states in a Breast Care book, it’s pretty much in stone. Even if you were having a tooth out, the nail colour is a great guide for oxygen levels.

Hi OAL have you not had your pre op app ? they tell you then you have to remove any nail polish.
enjoy your holiday sweetie xxx

yes i have had it, and no it was not mentioned. I would have remembered because the nail appointment was booked

perhaps its because i turned up with no make up or nail varnish and they thought i was not the type.

GI Jane:“Get it taken off - they attach something to your finger and they need to see the colour of your “real” nail”

Not quite - you are referring to the SPO2 finger probe. It checks O2 sats in the circulation (percentage of oxygen carried in the haemoglobin in the blood). It works by passing an infra-red light from the emitter (one side of the probe that shines a red light) and this is received by the receiver on the other side of the probe. The percentage of IR that gets through indicates the level of O2 sats. It’s the number on the vital signs monitor next to the pulse rate and is usually a number between 92 and 99.
The SPO2 probe WILL work with nail polish on the nail as the IR light is passed through the fingertip - usually an index finger.
Can you tell I work in medical engineering yet? ;o)

The reason that nail polish must be removed before an op, as so many have said, is because the anaesthetist (gasman) makes many checks on you while you are under the gas; one of these is the colour of the nail bed. I cannot imagine why any gasman would allow anyone to wear nail polish but it appears from posts above that some do.

TBH, I also cannot imagine why anyone would want to risk their life by the gasman being unable to detect their vital signs by any and every means possible for the sake of pretty nails.

It’s prolly not specifically mentioned in “Breast Cancer” info because it’s presumed to be common knowledge, like “don’t let ward visitors with unknown germs sit on the bed of a patient with a serious illness” perhaps.

Edit: by the way, it’s not trivial at all!

looks like i am going to have to squeeze in a visit to the nail place then. I am not going to take any risks. what a waste of money. Makes me want to weep, well not literally, not resorted to tears at all yet.

wonder if the gas man can cope with just one nail on each hand so that he can see whichever side he happens to be. Gosh does that mean if you are colour blind you cannot be a gas man??

I had my last surgery about six weeks ago and although I had no polish on my fingernails I did have it on my toenails… I just removed it from one big toe and they were happy with that.
It is not at all trivial… all these little thing make us feel better about ourselves and that can never be bad!!
Lots of luck x

what a bummer! I don’t think its trivial either, these things keep our spirits up - whats trivial about that?
have a lovely holiday xxx

OaL: “Gosh does that mean if you are colour blind you cannot be a gas man??”

I guess. The chap or chapess who is checking for (say) cyanosis is bu**ered if s/he is unable to see it…