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ROCKVILLE  •  MCLEAN
 301-656-6398  |  703-442-4919
Adam G. Tattlebaum M.D.

Planning To Have Cosmetic Surgery? Stop Smoking Now

We already know about the numerous negative effects that smoking can have on our health – cancer, birth defects, stroke, and more. But being a smoker who’s planning to have cosmetic surgery presents a whole new level of risks.

And this is why I strongly encourage patients who want to have cosmetic surgery to stop smoking before surgery. In fact, there are some surgeries I will not perform if a patient is smoking. Do whatever you can to stop.

Preparing for Surgery

No matter what type of surgery you plan to have, it involves preparation. Perhaps your doctor told you to stop certain medications, try and lose a couple of pounds, or stop smoking. This last request is because all surgeries have a lower risk in nonsmoking patients.

Effects of Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery

A study on smoking and cosmetic surgery found that smoking increases a “multitude of postoperative complications after plastic surgery procedures”. The culprit is nicotine, which is found in cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, nicotine gum, and patches. It can negatively impact cosmetic surgery.

how long before surgery should i stop smoking

For starters, smoking can cause your blood vessels to shrink, leading to restricted blood flow, then restricted oxygen, all leading to tissues dying.

You may experience delayed wound healing, increased pain, and even life-threatening complications like stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and pneumonia.

Another problem you may experience as a smoker includes the loss of skin. All skin-removal surgeries, including facelifts, breast lifts or reductions, and tummy tucks, share this risk.

When to Stop Smoking Before Surgery

I tell my patients that they must stop smoking three to six weeks before surgery and continue that for the same length of time after surgery. This is crucial. Of course, quitting forever would be ideal.

Be Honest About Your Smoking History

When you come in for your consultation, we’ll discuss your smoking history. I know that a smoking habit can be hard to break. If we’ve scheduled your surgery and it’s getting close, and you’ve taken even one puff, it’s crucial to let me know.

Even that small amount of nicotine could cause your blood vessels to shrink. We can always reschedule the surgery. On a similar note, you’ll want to avoid second-hand smoke as well.

E-cigarettes & Nicotine Gum Are Also Off-Limits

I understand that trying to kick the smoking habit can be hard, and in trying to do so, some cigarette smokers turn to e-cigarettes. Please note that e-cigarettes or chewing nicotine gum are also off-limits as they contain nicotine, the major culprit in healing complications

why stop smoking before surgeryHow to Quit Smoking Before Surgery

In addition to discussing your smoking history during your consultation, I can also share with you the steps some of my other patients took to stop smoking.

Some of those methods include going cold turkey, joining a support group, yoga/meditation, and acupuncture. They may also work for you.

And here’s something that may be an incentive for you: a long-term study found that cosmetic surgery may help patients to quit smoking or smoke less.

Talk to Us About Cosmetic Surgery

I offer several treatments and procedures at my plastic surgery practice – both non-surgical and surgical. But first, if you’re a smoker, we’ll need to get that under control. It can be done.

Call us to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs. We look forward to helping you reach your cosmetic goals.

February 21, 2019 11:25 am
Categories: Blog, Cosmetic Surgery

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