Smoking and Plastic Surgery: A Dangerous Duo


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The ill effects of smoking to your health are no secret. However, here at our practice, many first-time patients are quite surprised when we strongly advice quitting smoking at least 4 to 6 weeks before their plastic surgery schedule. Generally, they were not aware that smoking is an important factor that could potentially delay the healing process during recovery.

It’s All About the Blood Supply

What does smoking have to do with plastic surgery outcomes? By and large, majority of surgical cosmetic procedures involve the removal or restructuring of body tissues to achieve an improvement in appearance and/or function. When tissues are removed or reshaped, a portion of the blood vessels that supply blood to the affected tissue may be removed too.

In normal circumstances, the remaining blood vessels can still function optimally. However, it’s another story when it comes to smokers. The blood supply in most smokers tend to be sub-optimal due to the constricting effect of nicotine in cigarettes smoke to the blood vessels. When blood vessels are constricted, oxygen supply is greatly reduced resulting to poor or delayed wound healing. Other possible outcomes include wound separation, raised scars, and skin necrosis.

Increased Risk of Complications

In this 2013 study on the impact of nicotine to plastic surgery outcomes, the researchers found out that active smoking before surgery is strongly correlated with the occurrence of postoperative complications such as pneumonia and infection. An increased risk of complications also translates to longer hospital stays.

Here at our Danville cosmetic surgery practice, we do not just commit to providing optimal care during and after your surgery. We also aim to help you prepare well for the procedure such as helping you find ways to quit smoking.

Call 925.820.3633 or fill out this contact form to set up an appointment with Dr. Lavey today. We look forward to your visit!


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