Beauty & The Beast: Plastic Surgery & Smoking

Plastic surgery comes with many perks. There are obvious physical rewards, emotional benefits and the satisfaction of achieving personal goals. As anyone knows, achievements don’t come without some responsibilities. And when it comes to your plastic surgery procedure, one major responsibility is smoking cessation. Although this proposes a challenge for any habitual smoker, your surgeon’s got your best interest at heart. Aside from the obvious health risks, there are several reasons why your doctor urges you to banish the butts.

Smoking before and immediately after your procedure will commonly affect your result. It can lead to complications like vascular compromise, skin loss, infections, delayed healing, poor scarring and other issues – all of which would have a deleterious influence the outcome of your surgery. Furthermore, when you’re electing to have plastic surgery, it’s most likely to accomplish an improved aesthetic or visual appearance. With that in mind, smoking is especially counterintuitive as smoking accelerates the signs of aging. Unbelievably, it can still require a great deal of effort for surgeons to convince patients that they’re not just blowing smoke.

We’re not insensitive or unaware of the difficulty this presents for some patients. In fact, we’ve seen it time and again in our practice. So we’re here to help and offer some suggestions. While nicotine replacement therapies like chewing gums, patches, and inhalers are all tools created to help people break the habit of smoking, therein still lies the root of the problem: nicotine. Nicotine is the offender in terms of surgical complications. In preparation for your procedure, you would need to abstain from these products just as you would for actual cigarettes themselves.

Fret not though. Several nicotine-free therapies exist and are readily available. Although this is not our area of expertise, some examples of non-nicotine smoking cessation solutions that our patients have reported they’ve tried include things such as behavioral modification therapy and hypnosis, non-nicotine prescription medications called Wellbutrin and Chantix and even electronic cigarettes without nicotine. All of these have helped many people successfully quit smoking and should be discussed with your internist if you are truly interested in improving not only the results of your plastic surgery, but more importantly, your health.

Ultimately, only you can know which smoking cessation tool is ideal for you, but the best part is that you do have options! You’ve made the careful choice to select the right surgeon, the right facility and the right surgery for YOU. Go for the gusto and do it the right way! You’ll thank us later – we promise.