Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery
Giving up smoking is not only for good results.
Before surgery, we always require our patients to quit smoking at least three weeks before their procedure. Yes, it’s bad for your health, but smoking can actually disable the healing process your body needs after a procedure, along with producing many other medical complications.
Oxygen is extremely important during the healing process. The nicotine in cigarettes deprives your healing tissues of oxygen which causes blood clots, and scarring that could have been avoided otherwise. But nicotine is not the only culprit. Carbon monoxide also reduces the transportation of oxygen to healing tissues by taking its place.
According to an article published in the Plastic Surgery International (2014) journal, smokers have a higher chance of developing Venous Thromboembolism (VTE), which is deep vein blood clot formation, than non-smokers. Mortality is a strong concern of developing VTE, and it can cause serious long-term complications as blood clots can break away and travel through the bloodstream.
We also discourage smoking after surgery as your body heals. While there have been some cases of smoking reducing nausea and vomiting, studies show that smoking can increase post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) after most procedures. So if you are hoping to curb stomach pains, smoking may likely work against you.
Also, don’t believe that second hand smoking will not effect your body during or after a procedure. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about smoking. Much like first-hand, or active smoking, second-hand smoke can reduce blood flow the many parts of the body as well, which is why we encourage reducing contact with smokers before and after a procedure as well.