Last week, I discussed the hidden dangers of taking certain herbal supplements and remedies when you’re going in for surgery; this week, in continuation of the theme of preventing plastic surgery-related complications, I’m going to talk about why illness—even a common cold—and surgery do not mix.

In today’s hectic world, many people feel they’re too busy to let anything, even poor health, get in the way of their schedule. Putting your physical well-being second (or third, or fourth) is a bad idea in general; when it comes something like cosmetic surgery, though, it can be especially problematic.

The primary risk with almost any surgery—cosmetic or not—is the possibility of infection during recovery. If you’re sick, that possibility becomes much more likely, because your body is already working so hard to get you well again that it doesn’t have as much energy to contribute toward the healing process. Essentially, your immune system can only do so much at once—and fighting off infection after surgery while simultaneously fighting off an illness is probably more than it can handle.

If you’re sick—especially if you have a stomach virus, fever, sinus infection, cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, infection, rash, or the flu—and you have an upcoming cosmetic surgery, call your plastic surgeon. Do so a few days before the procedure, if possible (not the morning of), so there’s enough time to fully assess the situation and determine what the best course of action is.

It can be disappointing to have to reschedule a cosmetic procedure you’ve been planning for, I know—but a post-surgical infection can hurt you a lot more than a little disappointment can. Even in elective surgeries, health should always come first!