It’s a pretty well known fact that smoking and cosmetic surgery don’t mix. There are a number of reasons, but most have to do with the way nicotine constricts blood vessels to inhibit the body’s ability to heal itself. Some doctors will refuse to do a procedure on a person that smokes because of the ill effects nicotine has on the body. Some of the other issues that make cosmetic surgery and nicotine a bad combination are:



  • It introduces carbon monoxide into the system which diminishes oxygen transport and metabolism in injured tissue
  • Hydrogen cyanide hinders the enzyme systems necessary for oxidative metabolism and oxygen transport
  • Smokers have a higher rate of unsatisfactory healing following surgery
  • Smoking can make you require more anesthesia and pain medications

A person’s basic overall health is a concern with any type of surgery, and it is well documented that smokers have more complications following surgery. If an individual does smoke, they are asked to quit at least three weeks before the procedure and for a month afterwards.

This article lays out more details on why a smoker isn’t a good candidate for cosmetic surgery:

Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery – The Dangers Revealed

Clearly, there are many good reasons to quit smoking. However, if you are planning to undergo surgery, including cosmetic procedures such as tummy tuck, breast augmentation or face lift, you have additional incentives to kick the habit. Aside from all its other ill effects, smoking can increase the risks and severely compromise the results of your cosmetic surgery procedure.

Smoking constricts your blood vessels and inhibits the binding of oxygen, which reduces the amount of oxygen that is available to your cells. Without sufficient oxygen, you won’t heal as well after your surgery. Risks of poor healing include skin necrosis (skin death), raised, red scars and wound separation. Smokers are also more likely to experience anesthesia complications and develop infections after surgery. Across all surgical specialties, smokers tend to have longer hospital stays, are at higher risk of readmission, are more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit and have an increased risk of dying while in the hospital.

Many surgeons will not perform certain elective surgeries on smokers due to these risks.

Cigarette Smoker


Besides increasing the risks of surgery, smoking can affect the outcome of your treatment. Many cosmetic surgery procedures are done to put the brakes on the aging process, but smoking causes premature wrinkling, so it can offset the effects of your procedure.


Read the full post here:  Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery – The Dangers Revealed

It blows me away with all of the proof of the negative effects of smoking and that 1 in 5 deaths are directly related to the habit, that 46 million Americans still smoke. It is difficult to tackle the physical addiction that nicotine causes, but another major deterrent should be how expensive a pack of cigarettes is.  The feeling of relaxation it brings due to the chemical reaction nicotine has on the brain makes it understandable. Others claim it is the only way to keep their weight down, which is another health problem altogether.

In this video, Dr. Kevin Smith of Houston, Texas explains why he encourages smokers to quit before they have a surgical procedure done. I appreciate his comment about the fact that he and the patient are a team and both have to do their part for a successful outcome:


If you thought that maybe e-cigarettes were an option when preparing for a cosmetic surgical procedure, think again. Even though they produce a vapor instead of smoke, the nicotine is still present and all of the problems with vasoconstriction of blood vessels still apply. The next post provides quotes from two cosmetic surgeons who both concur that a patient needs to quit smoking e-cigs four weeks prior to surgery:

Plastic surgeons urge giving up e-cigs before procedure –

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 — Plastic surgery patients should avoid smoking e-cigarettes for at least four weeks before their procedures, two plastic surgeons advise.


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Patients who smoke are believed to face a higher risk of skin flap failure, apparently because nicotine reduces blood flow, the surgeons said.

“Based on our current best knowledge, it seems reasonable to advise plastic surgery candidates to cease e-cigarette use,” said Dr. Peter Taub,, of Mount Sinai Medical Center and Dr. Alan Matarasso of Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Both are in New York City.

“Refraining from [e-cigarette] use four weeks before surgery is a prudent course of action, despite the fact that it has yet to be determined if the effects are similar to traditional cigarettes,” they added.

Read the original post here:  Plastic surgeons urge giving up e-cigs before procedure –

study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) proved that not only are there more complications with smokers who undergo any surgical procedure, but there is a much higher rate of deception when it comes to admitting whether or not they had quit smoking. This fact shows how problematic nicotine can be for doctors trying to take a patient’s history into consideration. If you are planning to have any surgery performed, be sure to speak with your doctor about the options available for quitting smoking to give your chances of success a boost.