I Just Learned Where Surgeons Put Their Wedding Rings During Operations, And It's Not Where I Expected

I had no idea.
Aitor Diago via Getty Images

We’ve written before at HuffPost UK about why surgeons need tools handed directly to them during surgery (I was honestly clueless about that for years).

And now, we have answers to another question ― where do surgeons put their wedding rings during operations?

In a TikTok, medicine student norton_fam shared a video that read “POV: you just learned where to put your ring when you scrub in.”

In the clip, he acted out a scene in which a student put his ring in his scrubs’ chest pocket, after which the most experienced nurse said, “bend down.”

When he did (after some understandably panicked confusion), he found that his ring had fallen out ― making that pocket a no-go.

So where do they put them, then?

In the video, the medical student revealed that some doctors attach their ring to the drawstring of their scrubs’ trousers, leave it at home, or thread it onto a necklace.

“I have a ring keeper necklace ― my husband actually proposed with it knowing I couldn’t wear my ring 99% of the time at work,” one TikTok user replied.

The comments in a Reddit thread posted in r/Medicine revealed that many use necklaces; some use their key carabiners, while others leave theirs in the car.

One particularly romantic Redditor even got his wedding ring tattooed on his finger to “keep it on” during surgery. Aww.

It’s not just a TikTok and Reddit thing

In case you think this is just social media speculation, none other than the British Medical Journal has a whole article dedicated to this issue ― and advises, among other things, securing your ring to your drawstring using a reef knot.

“There are many anecdotes of surgeons losing their wedding rings and rooting through clinical waste or surgical scrub bins to find the lost items,” the BMJ revealed in the article.

And under the TikTok video, one app user said, “I used to work at a hospital in laundry, I’ve dug through hinders of bags looking for rings that [were] still on their scrubs.”

Other academic articles written on the subject include:

  • Bling in Theatre: What to Do With Your Rings When You Scrub,
  • The Dilemma of the Wedding Band, Wedding Rings Are Not A Significant Source of Bacterial Contamination Following Surgical Scrubbing, and
  • Comparison Of Bacterial Counts In Glove Juice Of Surgeons Wearing Smooth Band Rings Versus Those Without Rings.

So basically, it seems that if you’re marrying a surgeon, “popping the question” might not just mean proposing ― the real query is where they’re gonna put the ring afterwards.


Or leave it in your locked locker.. or put it in your Loupes case.. or.. #medstudent #medschool #medicalhumor #medicaltiktok #doctorsoftiktok #nursesoftiktok #fyp

♬ TEXAS HOLD 'EM - Beyoncé