A lot of patients are asking about when they can have their flu or COVID vaccines in relation to their upcoming surgery. It is a good question as having the surgery too close to the vaccine may cause problems as the vaccine causes an immune and inflammatory reaction which might interfere with the healing and response from the surgery.

In general, if the vaccine is undertaken before surgery, it is best if there is a gap of 72 hours between the vaccine and surgery. As long as there are no adverse symptoms then surgery can go ahead. It may be a little longer if you have other medical issues that can affect your immune system, such as diabetes or if you are on steroids. However usually a gap of 7 days is enough for most patients.

If the vaccine is undertaken after the surgery then it should be delayed by 1 week following a minor operation such as adenoidectomy, insertion grommets, Clarifix cryotherapy and balloon Eustachian dilatation, and 2 weeks following other surgery including tonsillectomy, septoplasty, endoscopic sinus surgery, nasal polypectomy, balloon sinuplasty, rhinoplasty and any nasal valve surgery (titanium or cartilage augmentation, intranasal z-plasty, Latera implant).

The above advice is based on National NHS guidance and by following it, most people can safely undergo your vaccine and surgery without excess adverse risks or complications.

If however you have had a vaccine and you feel unwell, such as a high temperature, fever or muscle aches/cramps please get in touch with London ENT for further advice as to what to do. In rare cases the surgery might need to be rescheduled for safety reasons although this is rarely required.

For more information please contact London ENT on 020 3865 7225.