Why It’s Important to Avoid Smoking After Plastic Surgery

It’s no secret that smoking and surgery don’t exactly mix, considering surgeons have been advising their patients to quit smoking before a procedure for decades now. But putting an end to lighting up may be even more critical when it comes to the complexity of plastic surgery. Your surgeon will undoubtedly tell you to quit the habit for at least six weeks before and after your surgery. The reason for this goes beyond their concern for your heightened risk of lung cancer. Let’s examine why abstaining from nicotine and tobacco use is vital to your plastic surgery recovery and overall safety.

What Are the Negative Effects of Nicotine on Surgery?

When your surgeon advises you to quit smoking before your plastic surgery procedure, your surgeon doesn’t just mean cigarettes. Nicotine can be hidden in a variety of different products, including gum, patches, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipes, and e-cigarettes.

Now, imagine your blood vessels are like a pipeline that supplies your body with oxygen and the nutrients required to function. When blood vessels are healthy, they can effectively help your body recover after surgery by rushing nutrients and oxygenated blood to wounded tissues and incision sites. In comparison, the blood vessels of someone who regularly smokes is like a skinny drinking straw that struggles to transport rich, oxygenated blood throughout the body.

Why You Should Abstain from Smoking after Plastic Surgery

Unlike general surgeries, plastic surgeons work in layers of skin, fascia, fat, and muscle. Your surgeon is often working layer by layer to stretch, pull, lift, and tighten varies tissues. This means each delicate layer will have blood vessels that may be severed and in need of rigorous healing. It is the remaining blood vessels’ job to pick up the slack and ensure the surrounding tissues receive the oxygen and nutrients they need. Without adequate oxygen supply to each of these layers, your wound healing capabilities could be compromised, and tissues could become necrotic as a result.

In other words, nicotine makes blood vessels perform poorly. This means less blood flow to wounds and incision sites. Less blood low means less oxygen, and less oxygen means potential tissue death, scarring, and poor results.

What Other Risks Can Nicotine Use Cause for Plastic Surgery?

If you choose to ignore the instructions of your surgeon and continue to smoke too soon after your surgery, there is a heightened risk of:

  • Infection
  • Death of fat cells, potentially resulting in hardened lumps beneath the skin
  • Complications with wound healing
  • Blood clots that can be fatal
  • Increased pain and discomfort during healing
  • Permanent damage to small blood vessels
  • Complications with implants
  • Heightened risk of stroke and heart attack
  • Increased risk of pneumonia

Quit Smoking Today and Rejuvenate Your Skin in the Woodlands, TX

Quitting anything is difficult, but the reward is youthful, radiant, beautiful skin! At Dr. Guy Facial Plastic Surgery in The Woodlands, TX, Dr. W. Marshall Guy and his incredible team offer a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical rejuvenation procedures that range from facelift to Botox®. Call (832) 956-1040 for your personalized consultation.