9 Reasons You Should Quit Smoking Before Cosmetic Surgery

The Dangers of Smoking before or after your Cosmetic Surgery

Smoking impacts your immune processes and reduces your blood flow and your ability to heal. As a result, not only is healing and recovery slowed down, you run a higher risk of complications during or after your procedure. Smoking is dangerous and detrimental to your well-being – especially if you’ve just had plastic surgery. Smoking, Nicotine, Cannabis, Breast Surgery and Abdominoplasty: a sure-fire way to ruin your results and health. Please avoid complications like a wound breakdown and stop smoking before surgery.

Here are the top 9 reasons you should quit smoking long before you have cosmetic or plastic surgery such as breast augmentation, abdominoplasty or other procedures.

9 Reasons to Quit Smoking Before Your Breast Surgery or Abdominoplasty

If you want to have breast surgery or a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), be aware that any form of smoking before or after cosmetic surgery is not permissible.

That warning applies equally to smoking and/or vaping including:

  • nicotine and tobacco
  • flavoured herbs
  • cannabis

Why do we recommend you stop smoking? Smoking increases your bruising and infection risks, even after having cosmetic facial injections.

1. Smoking Delays Healing

  • Recovery after surgery takes longer if you smoke.
  • Your skin won’t heal as smoothly or readily as it otherwise might.
  • Skin healing is compromised due to lower uptake of important nutrients when you smoke, especially Vitamin C – a necessary nutrient for your healing and recovery.
  • Learn why Vitamin C is so important to cosmetic surgery recovery processes, and how deficient uptake of nutrients leaves smoker’s skin looking more readily wrinkled at an earlier age (more links below).

2. Infection Risks Last Longer

  • Delayed wound healing also means your wound vulnerability to infections lasts longer.
  • Wounds may break down or fall prey to bacteria contamination and staph infections – all of which will be more difficult to treat if you are smoking.
  • This risk not only impacts your overall safety, but you could also end up with a wound infection and more noticeable scar.

3. Higher Risks of Fatal Complications whilst smoking  (Blood Clot/DVT)

  • Smoking is a recognised risk factor for strokes, blood clots/deep vein thrombosis and other circulatory diseases.
  • Surgery intermittently increases your risks and smoking makes your risks worse in view of pulmonary embolisms, DVTs or blood clots.

4. Skin Could Turn Necrotic (Tissue Death)

  • Your blood cells and circulation aren’t optimal if you smoke at all, even a few per day.
  • After surgery, your tissues and skin could become permanently damaged (necrotic/tissue ischemia “tissue death”) due to poor organ function (lungs, blood, dermal tissues, kidneys and more).
  • This partially relates to skin repair functions being compromised by smoking (down-regulated collagen synthesis).

5. Medication Requirements May Be Higher

  • Tobacco, nicotine and cannabis are all drugs that down-regulate the effects of other substances, drugs and prescribed medications (including antibiotics and pain relief).
  • This means you tend to need more caffeine, more pain control, and more medications to keep your levels balanced.

6. You’re Unlikely to Exercise as Much

  • To sustain your abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or breast surgery results, you should stay fit and healthy.
  • This means maintaining a stable weight.
  • But if your lungs won’t let you exercise to stay fit and healthy, you could end up with dangerous cardiovascular health and weight changes.

7.  Smoking Causers Lower Immunity Meaning Your Body is Less Likely to Cope with Bacteria

  • Surgery needs to be done in as sterile an environment as possible.
  • Even so, bacteria are everywhere – and if there is contamination around your surgery site, your body will have greater difficulty fighting it. This could lead to systemic issues or further problems down the track.

8.  Your Breasts Might be More Prone to Bottoming Out – Fat Transfer to Face is Unlikely to Take Well

  • If your skin is weaker than it would be due to collagen deficiency, your skin will age prematurely.
  • Breast implants could ‘bottom out’ prematurely in terms of implant position due to lack of skin strength.
  • If you have fat transfer to the face, fat is less likely to survive in patients who smoke.

9. Quitting Smoking Before Cosmetic Surgery May Be the Catalyst to Stay Smoke-Free

  • Wanting to have cosmetic surgery, needing to quit before the surgery date and wanting to feel better afterwards have motivated many former smokers to remain smoke-free (research findings).
  • Except: “The reduced capacity for wound repair is a particular concern in patients undergoing plastic or reconstructive surgery. Compared with nonsmokers, smokers have a higher incidence of unsatisfactory healing after face-lift surgery, as well as a greater degree of complications following breast surgery.”

Why is Smoking Before or After Cosmetic Surgery a Bad Idea?

Smoking harms an incredible amount of vital body processes, including your:

  • brain chemistry
  • moods
  • hormones
  • fertility
  • skin health
  • retinal functions
  • dental health
  • nasal passages
  • lungs
  • vocal cords
  • blood circulation
  • immune functions and more

Further, smoking can even down-regulated other substances and lead to co-addictions. So smoking at any time – no matter how little – means you’re compromising your journey and your surgery results. 

About Dr Craig Rubinstein

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Dr Craig Rubinstein FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is an experienced Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeon for breast and abdominoplasty surgery.

Dr Rubinstein offers women personalised abdominoplasty surgery and all forms of cosmetic breast surgery.

BOOK A CONSULTATION (03) 8849 1400

Next Steps in Your Surgical Journey

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Want more information about your Procedure?

  • Download a Free Procedure Guide on your chosen surgery.
  • Visit the FAQs and read patient reviews to learn more about your intended procedure.
  • For more information about pricing visit our cost page.
  • You can also talk to our Patient Care Team from 9 to 5 pm Monday to Friday on (03) 8849 1400

Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery

About Your First Consultation

  • Dr Rubinstein’s Consultation fee is $300.
  • A referral from your GP or specialist is essential.
  • A referral helps when claiming Medicare or Private Health Insurance coverage.
  • Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery to book your consultation.

What to Bring to Your Consultation

  • You are more than welcome to bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents provided.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.