The COVID Vaccine & Fillers: The Best Way to Do Both Safely

As Ohio vaccinations increase, questions have arisen about possible contra-indications for the COVID vaccine. Many injectable patients have been left wondering: “should I wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have recently had Botox or fillers?”, and “should I wait to receive Botox and fillers if I am newly vaccinated?”

As leading plastic surgeons in Columbus, Ohio, we use the most recent data available to provide guidance on the safety surrounding Botox, fillers, & the COVID vaccine, and how long is an appropriate amount of time to wait in between them. In order to decrease your potential for late-onset swelling, we recommend you err on the side of caution by scheduling time between your injections and the vaccine.

Covid Vaccine and Botox
Stacie Isler, PA-C, draws up Botox for a patient.

Receiving Injectables After the Vaccine

It is safe to receive treatments like Botox and fillers after receiving the COVID vaccine. The vaccine is not a contra-indication for Botox or fillers, meaning that if you are already vaccinated (or are planning to become vaccinated before your injectable visit), you have no reason to worry!

However, our injectors do recommend waiting approximately 2 weeks after your vaccine to come in for a Botox/filler treatment. The reason for this is to wait for any potential symptoms from the vaccine subside; not everyone experiences noticeable symptoms after vaccination, but your body will typically have some sort of an inflammatory response to the vaccine (which is what you want in order to create the antibodies to the virus) that you should wait out before resuming or trying new cosmetic treatments.

Receiving the Vaccine After Injectables

Is it safe to get the vaccine after Botox?

Yes! In our experience, we have not observed any instance where a patient has experienced side effects related to their Botox treatment after receiving the COVID vaccine, nor from other wrinkle relaxers like Dysport, Xeomin, or Jeuveau.

Is it safe to get the vaccine after fillers?

Yes. It is safe to get the vaccine if you have a history of fillers. However, there is a very slight possibility you may receive some swelling afterward. There have been three cases reported by the FDA (out of a sample of 15,184) in which patients have experienced late-onset swelling in the area of their filler following the COVID-19 Moderna vaccination, most likely related to the body’s inflammatory response.

Reported symptoms of these cases were mild and quickly resolved. It is normal to be swollen for the couple of weeks after fillers. However, if swelling returns three to four weeks after fillers, this may be a symptom of your body’s immunological response following the vaccine.

In fact, this type of delayed-onset swelling isn’t uncommon. It is fairly normal to see residual swelling of the injection area anytime there is a diffuse inflammation response occurring in the body. Inflammation can be caused by any number of things that trigger an immune reaction — certain foods, environmental factors, and, of course, viruses can all cause varied levels of inflammation.

Guidance provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) states that, for these reasons, they do not discourage vaccination for any individual with a history of filler or Botox use.

Our Recommendations

Plan out your appointments. We agree with the ASPS that the risk of swelling is so minimal that it should not dissuade you from receiving the vaccine, nor cosmetic injectables. The benefits of receiving the vaccine vastly outweigh any potential risks or side effects like those described in the FDA’s report. It should not matter the order in which you receive them, as long as you provide yourself an appropriate buffer period to allow your body’s natural immune response to settle.

How Long Should You Wait After Your Filler to Get the Vaccine?

Give yourself a minimum of two-weeks between your appointments, just to be safe. Make an informed decision regarding your vaccination, and be sure to ask your injector any questions you have before your treatment. As healthcare providers, we encourage vaccination against COVID-19. We will continue to follow the CDC’s guidelines as they apply to healthcare facilities, and closely monitor the FDA’s literature as it relates to dermal fillers and the COVID vaccine.

Place Your Trust in the Experts

Still have questions about interactions between Botox & fillers and the vaccine? Just ask us! Donaldson Plastic Surgery is a highly-respected surgical practice with extensive non-surgical and injectable offerings. We are of Allergan Diamond Level status (reserved for the top 1% in Botox and Juvederm sales across the nation). If you are ready to meet with an injector that you can trust with your aesthetic goals, we would love to meet you for a consultation! Schedule your personalized consultation today.

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Everything You Need To Know About “Quilted” Tummy Tucks, From The Experts

Tummy tucks ranked as one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures performed nationwide last year. Here at Donaldson Plastic Surgery, our surgeons performed more than 135 tummy tucks in 2020 alone! Tummy tucks create a beautiful new silhouette by removing excess skin and tightening the abdominal muscles, and new methods and modalities are emerging to improve the patient experience and recovery process. Dr. Donaldson explains one of these techniques: the “drainless” or (sometimes referred to as the “quilted”) tummy tuck.

Tummy tuck being performed
Dr. Donaldson and his surgical first assist, Bobbie, in the O.R.

What Does “Drainless” Mean?

The purpose of a tummy tuck drain

Commonly, tummy tucks will include a drain in the recovery process. This drain is tubing that is temporarily left in the abdominal cavity after surgery, meant to remove excess fluid in between the skin and muscle tissue. The production of liquid after a tummy tuck is expected due to the space created during surgery and the body’s natural response to injury (this is what happens when your body swells). The body can naturally absorb this liquid; however, since the tummy tuck results in more liquid than the body is used to, the drain is a helpful aid for the body’s recovery.

How a drainless tummy tuck is performed

In order to not use a drain, the surgeon must avoid leaving the space between the skin and the muscle tissue. This is typically done in combination with glue and a “quilted” suturing technique. Through quilting, the surgeon is able to distribute the liquid from the anticipated swelling evenly. This removes the tension from the incision while also closing the gap between the skin and the muscle tissue.

How can I go drainless? Is a drainless tummy tuck safe?

Drainless tummy tucks are completely safe when they are performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. The recovery experience for both kinds of tummy tucks is generally the same. Your surgeon will recommend which route will be most beneficial for you, as there are benefits to both.

Pros and Cons of a Drainless Tummy Tuck


When pursuing a tummy tuck, the results are at the forefront in making your decision on which surgeon to choose. Drainless tummy tucks and traditional tummy tucks will produce the same results. You will also experience a similar timeline in terms of your recovery and when you will see your results.

Benefits of a drain

Drains have their own benefits as well. The purpose of a drain is to remove abdominal fluid, which will help to avoid any possible buildup that may occur with a drainless tummy tuck. If you experience buildup after a drainless tummy tuck, you will need to come into the office to have the area surgically drained. A drain might save you that trip into the office.

Benefits of a drainless tummy tuck

Both patients and surgeons alike may prefer a drainless tummy tuck for the following reasons:

It is important to note that there can be fluid buildup after a drainless tummy tuck. This is not uncommon, and in this case, the patient will need to come into the office for a physical exam and possible draining of the area. Wearing the provided compression garments is especially important for drainless tummy tuck patients to help avoid this fluid buildup and aid with the joining of the skin to the muscle tissue.

Dr. Donaldson surgical sutures
Dr. Donaldson suturing after surgery.

Your Drainless Tummy Tuck Experts in Columbus, OH

Some patients are better candidates than others for a drainless tummy tuck. The final decision to use or not use a drain will be left up to the surgeon that you choose, sometimes in the operating room. The surgical incision, size of the field, and amount of drainage that the patient is expected to produce are the main factors in determining if the surgeon will use a drain.

Your surgeon can review the benefits and disadvantages depending on your own individual needs. Your first step is to schedule a consultation to develop a customized treatment plan. Dr. Donaldson and Dr. Sieffert would love to meet with you to discuss a tummy tuck and if you would be a good candidate for drainless!

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