Smoking cessation and surgery
Your doctor may have mentioned the need to stop smoking prior to and after cosmetic surgery, but what is the reasoning behind this? We all know that smoking has detrimental effects on our overall health and personal appearance but what makes smoking dangerous for individuals undergoing surgery? Nicotine constricts the blood vessels resulting in poor tissue perfusion and oxygenation. This can considerably delay the healing process and even cause tissue to turn black and die (necrosis). This is especially true in cases where the skin is widely undermined such as in a facelift, mastopexy (breast lift), breast reduction or abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). If you are contemplating plastic surgery, you may also want to seriously consider quitting smoking altogether. Surgery always entails some level of risk and smoking greatly increases those risks.
Q: Aside from quitting entirely, how long do you recommend patients avoid smoking before and after surgery?
A: you must stop smoking for at least two weeks before and after surgery. For a tummy tuck and breast lift you must stop smoking for at least four weeks before and after.
Q: What are the consequences of smoking before and after surgery?
A: Smoking significantly increases the risk of severe infections, delayed wound healing, and tissue necrosis.