The many risks of SMOKING before & after Cosmetic Surgery
Is smoking dangerous for cosmetic surgery patients? Anyone planning a cosmetic surgery procedure should AVOID smoking. Smoking before surgery and during post-op recovery is damaging to your new aesthetic surgery results and your health. On the upside, there are many BENEFITS of quitting smoking well before the date of your cosmetic surgery – breast, body or face surgery.
- Non-smokers have fewer wound-related complications and far better skin healing processes is just one reason to quit!
- This means non-smokers are more likely to end up with less problematic recovery and a better-looking scar. (though this can vary)
- Smokers, on the other hand, are far LESS likely to heal well because their health and immunity are severely compromised by smoking and toxic chemicals in tobacco, nicotine and cigarette smoke (vaping and cannabis are NO exception)
Top 10 Reasons Cosmetic Surgery Patients should avoid smoking
Patients undergoing any type of cosmetic or plastic surgery should know:
1. Smoking DELAYS healing
- You lack important blood nutrients when you smoke, especially Vitamin C – a necessary nutrient for wound healing and proper scar formation
- Learn WHY Vitamin C is so important to cosmetic surgery recovery processes
2. INFECTION RISKS are longer lasting when healing is delayed
- Slower WOUND HEALING means your vulnerability to INFECTIONS is extended
- You could get a serious bacteria contamination or deadly staph infections
- These are more difficult to correct with medications if you are still smoking
3. BLOOD CLOTs and DVT RISKS could be elevated
- Smoking is a recognised RISK factor for blood clots/deep vein thrombosis and other circulatory diseases or strokes, and you don’t want to ADD to already existing surgery and general anaesthetic risks
- Read more about Surgery risks and pulmonary embolisms, DVTs or blood clots
4. NECROTIC BREAST or NIPPLE SKIN
- Your blood cell functions, immunity functions and circulation are all harmed by smoking – even one cigarette a day isn’t OKAY
- IF you smoke before or AFTER surgery, your skin could end up permanently disfigured by skin necrosis (tissue ischemia) linked with inadequate health of important healing organs (lungs, dermal tissues, kidneys, blood)
- Read more about skin repair functions and smoking harms (collagen synthesis)
5. MEDICATION COSTS may be higher
- Smoking Cigarettes and other drugs tend to dampen the effect of other substances, including medications this means they often WORK less well
- Plus, if your smoking impacts your results, you could have to have REVISION surgery once you quit smoking – and that can get quite costly!
6. FITNESS goes down and EXERCISE lessons
If your smoke-filled lungs discourage fitness behaviours, you could end up with cardiovascular illnesses or unwanted weight gain
7. IMMUNITY is LOWERED – your body is less likely to FIGHT off bad Bacteria
- Breast implant surgery needs to be performed with sterility in mind
- But bacteria – some good, some bad – is everywhere in the environment and in your body
- IF you get contamination around your incision lines, your body will have difficulty fighting it if you continue to smoke (before or after surgery)
- This could lead to serious systemic issues or life-threatening conditions
8. BOTTOMING OUT – or LESS survival of FAT that is TRANSFERRED to breasts
- If you’re getting breast augmentation and still smoking, your skin won’t be as healthy – this could lead to higher chances your implants might ‘bottom out’ prematurely due to lack of skin collagen (weaker skin)
- If you have fat transfer to breasts, women who smoke will likely have LESS fat survival – meaning more costs, more operations and less success for that extra cleavage fat transfer
9. Wasted MONEY
- Smoking is also DAMAGING to your budget
- Cigarettes, tobacco, e-cigarettes, vaping equipment and cannabis are expensive – (some are also illegal)
- wouldn’t you RATHER buy new clothing or a better swimsuit to show off your cosmetic surgery? You could even swap cigarette funds for an overseas adventure instead?
10. QUITTING BEFORE Cosmetic Surgery can be a MOTIVATOR for success
- Wanting cosmetic surgery and needing to quit smoking beforehand has helped many former-smokers to remain Non-smokers over the longer term
- This period of your surgery planning could be the BEST time to become inspired to quit for good
- Seeking professional QUIT help can be of benefit and keep you on track
- You are also potentially going to feel happier about yourself AFTER surgery, meaning more prone to want to improve your health at every level (this can vary but many patients discuss this in online cosmetic surgery forums)
You need to quit way before your surgery date as it’ll be harder afterwards.
- TIP: Opt-out of all Vaping, electronic cigarettes and smoking tobacco before AND after surgery (ideally at least 3 months before and indefinitely afterwards)
- Smoking habits are DANGEROUS for cosmetic surgery patients (breast augmentation patients included)
- Why? Because smoking BEFORE or AFTER surgery can HARM your outcomes AND your health
Can I smoke before or after a boob job?
Smoking after a breast augmentation is to be avoided! – A Wound breakdown may be more likely. Smoking can add to your existing complication risks due to poor nutritional levels in your bloodstreams, compromised lung functions and blood circulation issues (think DVTs, infection risks and Anaesthesia).
Plus, if you end up getting an infection after breast surgery – or other complication – these are likely to be WORSE, LONGER LASTING and MORE DIFFICULT to treat effectively THAN if you were a never smoker.
Can I quit after my cosmetic surgery instead of before?
Don’t tell yourself you’ll quit after your procedure. It’s FAR better to quit smoking BEFORE having cosmetic surgery than to think it’ll be easier afterwards.
Otherwise, during your surgery recovery period, you might be tempted to go back to smoking habits – out of boredom or due to feeling a bit emotional
- You’re better off quitting well in advance and establishing your healthier lifestyle
- There are many advantages to doing so, including that your journey will tend to be less prone to problems
Why is smoking before or after surgery a bad idea for cosmetic surgery patients?
ANY form of smoking BEFORE or AFTER your cosmetic surgery procedure – no matter what that is – should be avoided. And that means, not even ONE cigarette a day.
Here’s how smoking can affect your surgery results and harm your outcome AND your health.
Remember, this warning applies equally to smoking and/or vaping of any forms:
- nicotine and tobacco
- flavoured herbs
- cannabis or other illicit drugs that are smoked or inhaled
- haku bars
- Smoking even increases your bruising risks and infection risks after having cosmetic facial injections.
Smoking harms your brain chemistry, your moods, your hormones, your fertility, your skin health, your retinal functions (eyesight), your dental health, your nasal passages, your lungs, your vocal chords, your blood circulation, your immune functions and more. It even down-regulated other substances and leads to co-addictions. All of which impact your likelihood of complications that could deter a good result.
About Dr Mark Gittos FRACS (Plast) – New Zealand Plastic Surgeon
Practice locations in Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty – Remuera, Kerikeri, Whangarei, New Plymouth & Tauranga
Dr Mark Gittos offers high quality, natural-looking cosmetic surgery results and is highly experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4000 Surgeries in the last 26 years. With world-wide expertise Dr Gittos is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men & women.
Dr Mark Gittos is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and operates a practice in Remuera, Auckland and in the UK. The practice focuses on both surgical and non-surgical procedures, each designed to help restore, improve or change a physical characteristic or problem. The first step in every case is to talk through your personal requirements and explore all the options, before deciding on the most effective solution.
Naturally, before any treatment is begun, we will explain clearly the advantages and risk factors; so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision that is best for you. Visit the practice to find out more.
Do your Research
- Read the Website and Blogs relevant to your procedure
- Browse our Frequently Asked Questions including how to choose a Surgeon for your procedure
- Download the Guides to Surgery
What to Bring to your Plastic Surgeon Consultation
- Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
- Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
- Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
Book your Initial Surgery Consultation
- A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
- Email us or Call on 09 529 5352 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment.
- Book a consultation with your Surgeon by paying the Consultation Fee ($295+GST)
Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.