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I Am a 29 Year Old Mother of Five and I Smoke. I Am 5'3 185 Lbs. I Am Very Busy. Would I Be a Good Fit for Surgery?

Doctor Answers 9

Do not have tummy tuck surgery if you are an active smoker

Thank you for your question. Smoking can interfere with the blood supply to the skin of your abdomen after tummy Tuck. Smoking increases your risk of necrosis or death of the skin of your lower abdomen due to the effects of nicotine on your blood vessels.

In my practice we consisted patients stop smoking for 5 weeks prior to tummy tuck surgery, and we do a blood test to make certain that metabolites of nicotine are not present in the blood before proceeding with surgery.

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

195 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02116

Smoking is not a contraindication to elective cosmetic surgery.

Active smoking definitely increases the risk of surgery. Most plastic surgeons insist on cessation of smoking for two weeks or more prior to the operation. Other by itself however smoking is not an absolute contraindication.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

365 East Paces Ferry Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

Am I a good fit for surgery?

Dear Dee,

It sounds like you are not a good fit at this time.  I know you heard this before, but it is very important to quite smoking.  For your health as well as for the surgery.  Also, you need to get to a place where you can relax for a few weeks, maybe have relatives take care of the kids.

Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

8900 Raintree
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Are you a good candidate for surgery?

With your self-description, NO, you are not a good candidate for major procedures.  You should focus on stopping smoking and finding a time when you have the ability to recovery from procedures without the obligations of caring for your children.  In other words, you can't be BUSY when trying to recover from major surgery. 

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

1950 Rosaline Avenue
Redding, CA 96001

I Smoke. I Am 5'3 185 Lbs. . Would I Be a Good Fit for Surgery?

Two issues in these few lines add significant risk and jeopardize the chances of a good result.

Smoking  All of the lifting procedures (tummy tuck, face lift, breast lift or reduction) have unacceptably increased wound healing risks. The lifting itself diminishes normal blood flow to the healing skin. The nicotine by a separate mechanism further decreases blood flow to a level so low that sometimes skin necrosis (death) can occur. (Nicotine products, such as patches or gum, used to help quit smoking may actually be worse than smoking itself.)

Weight. Many risks are elevated in patients whose body-mass index (BMI) is over 30. You would need to get to just under 170 pounds to reach that threshold. Most surgeons are reluctant to offer TT surgery to patients whose BMI's are over 30. Risks are lower, outcomes better at levels of 25 or lower.

Invest some time taking care of yourself to make the procedure safer and more effective. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

1110 112th Avenue NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Smoking and Tummy Tucks

Smoking will increase your risk of healing problems (incisions opening up, skin necrosis), seromas, and delayed healing.   It is recommended to get be tobacco and cigarette free for several weeks before and after surgery.   Patients often seek the help of their primary care physician to start formal medically supervised smoking cessation programs.  Best wishes,

Dr Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

6400 Fannin
Houston, TX 77030

Am I a candidate for tummy tuck surgery?

Thank you for your question. Generally, I advise all patients prior to surgery that they need to be completely off cigarettes and nicotine for at least 8 weeks. Cigarette smoking can greatly inhibit a surgical patient through delayed wound healing, decreased effectiveness of medications which can lead to infection, increased risk for DVT or blood clots, and impaired oxygen perfusion. When you decide that it is the right time to have surgery please take these factors into consideration. Also, as you were previously informed, there is downtime associated with this procedure. Being that you lead a very busy lifestyle and have small children at home this also needs to be taken into consideration. I hope this helps you and good luck. Fadi Chahin MD, FACS Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Diplomat, American Board of Surgery, Diplomat, American Board of Plastic Surgery

Fadi Chahin, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

465 North Roxbury Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Good Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?

 Thank you for the question.

The “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable,  has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, does not smoke, is capable of arranging enough recovery time and who has reached a long-term stable weight.

I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,054 reviews

8851 Center Drive
San Diego, CA 91942

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.