Should you smoke and have cosmetic surgery? Drs. Carey Nease and Chad Deal emphatically say no.
Most people only know of the long term affects of smoking such as its relationship to cancers and COPD, however there are immediate problems as well that tremendously affect the healing process of wounds. “I rarely see wound healing problems in non-smokers, and we know the risk of problems goes up significantly in those patient who actively smoke or are around second-hand smoke,” said Dr. Carey Nease. Instantly when one begins to smoke even just one cigarette the small blood vessels constrict. This has disastrous effects on new wounds that can cause them to become necrotic and even completely open up. “I can usually tell when a patient has not been forthcoming about smoking during their recovery after a breast lift,” said Chad Deal, MD. “Nipples have a very hard time healing without the proper blood flow to them.” This is also especially true for other procedures such as facelifts, tummy tucks,and arm or thigh lifts.
There are also a host of other problems that come from smoking during the healing process such as: increased risk of infection, increased risk of capsular contraction with implants, increased risk of hypertrophic scars, and others. Even from a pure aesthetic standpoint there is loss of elasticity with the skin so that during the recovery phase the skin will loosen up and will ultimately lose some of the “lift” with facelifts, tummy tucks, etc.
At Southern Surgical Arts, our policy is that you must quit smoking 6-8 weeks before surgery. This policy is also applied to the post operative healing process. Since improvement is the goal in cosmetic surgery, minimizing the possibility of complications is optimal.
Have you stopped smoking or in the process of quitting and ready to move forward with your cosmetic surgery procedure? Call us and take advantage of our complimentary consultation with one of our highly trained and skilled surgeons.
Chattanooga, One North Shore: 423-266-3331