Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery - What Are The Risks?


Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery - What Are The Risks?

If you're a smoker thinking about cosmetic surgery, then you're possibly worried about how that could impact the operation. Your surgeon will warn you to avoid smoking both before and after the cosmetic operation, in order to reduce the risk of tissue death. 

It is important to remember that the issues are with nicotine, so substitutes for cigarettes and cigars are still a big no-no and should be avoided. Things like nicotine patches, nicotine gum, pipes and e-vaping all need to be avoided even if some of them are dressed up as better alternatives. Why is that important? Your body can suffer short-term impacts while you smoke, and long-term or even lasting damage. All of this disruption will have a detrimental effect on your operation. Smoking is a significant risk factor for wound healing problems that also contribute to low quality scarring. Nicotine allows blood flow to close and thus interferes with the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the recovering tissues.

All tobacco products contain carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide reduces the capacity of hemoglobin in the blood to carry oxygen. Especially in operations such as facelift and breast aesthetics, healthy blood circulation and transporting sufficient oxygen to the tissues through the blood is especially important in terms of accelerating the recovery period.

Other issues caused by combining nicotine with plastic surgery;


extended healing time,

fat cell death (fat necrosis) causing extreme lumps,

increased pain.

But the good news is the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, records a long-term follow-up analysis that many patients receiving these recommendations will avoid smoking or at least smoke less in the years following plastic surgery.

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May 20, 2022

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