Latex Allergy and Surgery: What You Need to Know
Up to 7% of people are reportedly allergic to latex, a natural substance produced from rubber trees. Latex is a versatile material, used in thousands of everyday products from condoms to rubber bands. However, because latex allergies are so common, the use of it in medical and surgical facilities is being phased out. One example of this is exam gloves, which in our office are all non-latex. Some facilities are actually using their latex policy as a marketing strategy (!), implying that some surgical facilities are less capable of treating latex allergy patients. The fact is that every accredited surgical facility has policies and procedures in place and there is no need to choose a specific facility for that reason alone.
However, patients with an allergy to latex should inform their surgeon regardless of where the procedure will take place. But remember, choosing your surgeon is more important than choosing the facility; reputable surgeons will use reputable facilities.