Complications with Smoking and Plastic Surgery
Are There Complications Associated With Smoking And Plastic Surgery?
If you are considering plastic surgery, you need to also seriously consider that this would be the perfect time to quit smoking. While there is some level of risk with all surgeries, smoking greatly increases those risks. Don’t compromise (or even negate) your results no matter what procedure you are planning. Smoking is a very bad idea and particularly dangerous in the case of abdominoplasty (tummy tucks) or facelifts where the skin is really stressed and needs lots of oxygen to heal.
It is well documented that smoking is not good for our health. We know that smoking greatly increases our risk of cancer, pulmonary, and vascular disease. It also makes us appear older by damaging the skin and staining our teeth.
Side Effects Of Smoking And Plastic Surgery
The side effects of smoking are greatly magnified in the plastic surgery patient. These effects are due the toxic constituents of cigarette smoke, particularly nicotine, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide.
Nicotine constricts the blood vessels responsible for bringing oxygen to the healing tissues. This may lead to wound healing problems, increased risk of infection, worse scarring, and even tissue necrosis. . There may also be increased platelet adhesion from the nicotine which could increase microvascular occlusion and thrombosis as well as tissue ischemia. Carbon monoxide reduces the oxygen transport and metabolism and hydrogen cyanide inhibits the enzyme systems needed for oxidative metabolism and transport of oxygen to the cells.
Smokers And Healing
Smokers in general experience slower healing with their wounds that result from plastic surgical procedures. Patients who undergo plastic and reconstructive surgery have a reduced ability for wound repair specifically associated with smoking due to increased risk of scarring, wound dehiscence, and possible hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation of scarring post surgically.
So when do I need to stop smoking before my procedure? I recommend that a patient avoid smoking for at least 2 weeks before and refrain from smoking for four weeks post surgery. It is also important to avoid second hand smoke before and after surgery as this will also cause constriction (narrowing) of the blood vessels.
At that point, you hopefully will find that you have simply quit forever.
Non-smokers enjoy better and longer lasting results, quicker recovery, and less risk.
Please contact me or call 410-321-6868 if you have any questions or comments you want to share about this topic.