Choosing to undergo a plastic surgery procedure is an exciting and personal decision. However, there are some steps that must be made to ensure a safe and optimal recovery. For those who smoke, a major lifestyle change must be made to ensure desired outcomes. Read on to learn more about why nicotine and plastic surgery do not mix.
Most plastic surgeons will advise that a patient quit smoking three to six weeks before surgery, through three to six weeks after. “Why though?” you ask. “What does nicotine have to do with surgery?” Well actually, nicotine can play a big role in your recovery.
During plastic surgery procedures such as a facelift, tummy tuck, or breast lift, some blood vessels are cut, while some are left intact to supply oxygen to the skin. Nicotine shrinks the size of blood vessels, reducing blood flow, and therefore, oxygen. Without oxygen, tissues will die. When nicotine is in the body, it can cause an array of problems during recovery, including death of fat cells, delayed wound healing, blood clots, thick scars, loss of breast implants, and permanent small vessel damage.
Even if you are not a cigarette smoker, e-cigarettes and nicotine gum can still cause these complications. Any form of nicotine can cause your blood vessels to shrink. This even includes second-hand smoke. If you are planning on undergoing surgery in the near future, it is important to discuss your nicotine consumption with your surgeon. It is always better to delay surgery if you have consumed nicotine than to deal with unwanted complications during recovery!
If you are located in the Troy, Rochester Hills, or Detroit areas and have questions concerning nicotine and plastic surgery, contact us today at 248-220-6760. Dr. Ellen would be happy to answer any questions you may have.