We all know smoking is hazardous to our lungs, heart, skin, and blood vessels. It can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.
Despite these risks, approximately 1.1 billion people are regular smokers. That’s just one in every three adults. The nicotine in cigarettes is a drug, and it is just as addicting as other drugs, such as heroin. Some people equate quitting cigarettes to recovering from heroin addiction.
Cigarettes contain as many as 7,000 chemicals. These chemicals can be extremely dangerous during a plastic surgery procedure, and can compromise the healing process.
Specifically, nicotine can shrink blood vessels, which can inhibit blood supply. Sufficient blood supply is incredibly important during a plastic surgery procedure. Tissues die without adequate oxygen, and the area may not heal properly.
Other nicotine-related effects include:
- Patients may have a difficult time breathing due to oxygen shortage.
- Patients may develop blood clots.
- The risk of infection increases.
Quitting Before Plastic Surgery
It is necessary to quit smoking before undergoing a plastic surgery procedure. Many plastic surgeons require patients to stop smoking at least one week before the procedure.
Nicotine has a short half-life – about two hours. By a week, there shouldn’t be any nicotine left in your system, so it should be safe to perform the surgery.
Smoking After Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgeons advise patients not to smoke after plastic surgery because it can lead to poor blood flow and slow healing. Patients should not start smoking again until it is cleared by the plastic surgeon during a follow up appointment. Our team advises patients not to smoke again. Ever.
For those who are trying to quit smoking, seeking plastic surgery may be the motivation you need to say goodbye to cigarettes forever. Since you have to stop smoking for the procedure, it may be a good time not to pick up the habit again.
In addition, you’ll have a new look from the procedure, and staying away from smoking will likely help you look and feel better in many other ways. This is especially true if you’re young and concerned about wrinkles.
More Questions about Smoking and Plastic Surgery?
If you have additional questions about smoking and plastic surgery, please give us a call. Our Manhattan office can be reached at 212-206-0023 and our Long Island office at 631-499-1831. Our free consultation appointments are available Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and on Saturdays until 6:00 PM.