When you go to see the doctor before each plastic surgery operation, your doctor’s advice to you is not to smoke 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the operation. In fact, the ideal is to quit smoking completely.
Smoking is an important point and is the most important advice to reduce the risks during the operation and to get the desired result. Smoking is dangerous, especially in large-scale operations such as tummy tuck, face lift and breast aesthetics.
However, eyelid aesthetics and rhinoplasty can also be risky if you don’t quit smoking. In these operations, it is important to recover quickly and functions such as breathing are restored as quickly as possible.
Why is smoking a taboo for plastic surgery?
- Slow tissue healing
The incisions made during the surgery heal gradually. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and the smallest capillaries with vasoconstriction, impairing their nutrition.
Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke prevents the oxygenation of tissues and affects blood cells and disrupts their coagulation. Therefore, the blood becomes thicker and weakens the formation of new vessels during healing.
Narrowed vessels lead to a decrease in blood flow to the skin, when nutrition is disturbed, the healing of damaged tissues is also impaired. When blood vessels narrow, the supply of nutrients and oxygen to tissues is disrupted and the less tissue is nourished, slower wound healing.
- Necrosis and infection risks
Slow healing increases the risk of infection. Non-healing wounds and lack of oxygen lead to necrosis (death) of the skin. And necrosis can worsen the outcome of the operation – for example, it can cause displacement of implants and bad scarring during breast aesthetics.
- Formation of an ugly scar
The condition of the scar as a whole may not be satisfactory due to smoking. Insufficient nutrition of blood vessels in the postoperative period leads to the formation of an ugly scar.
- Complications during anesthesia
Anesthesia complications may develop due to oxygen exchange and insufficient ventilation of the lungs.
The risk of bleeding from the cannula entry site in operations such as liposuction and from the sutures in tummy tuck surgery increases. The fact is that adipose tissue is usually removed from the abdomen, and due to the frequent coughing in smokers, when coughing, the stomach swells, intra-abdominal pressure increases. This can cause the sutures to open and bleed, especially in tummy tuck.
Patients who smoke are more likely to have surgery again. Smoking worsens the condition of the skin and leads to sagging, and greatly affects the elasticity of the skin in general. We’re assuming that’s why a facelift ranks first on the list of the most popular surgeries for smokers.
How long does it take to quit smoking for plastic surgery?
There is an opinion that people who are advised to quit smoking by the doctor before plastic surgery are more likely to quit smoking completely. Considering that four to six weeks of smoking cessation advice is mandatory for patients, it may lead many to quit smoking permanently.