Ask a doctor

Should Breast Lift and Augmentation Be Postponed Because of Smoking?

I just quit smoking. My Breast lift and Breast implant surgery is in 9 days. Should I postpone my surgery?

Doctor Answers (13)

Should breast lift and augmentation be postponed because of smoking?

+1
Hello! Thank you for your question! The issue with nicotine is that it also acts as a vasoconstrictor, clamping down of blood vessels. Blood supply is always of great concern during any surgical procedure, but especially in such a procedure as a mastopexy where the viability of the nipple-areolar complex is obviously important. Since the vascularity to the area is already tenuous since it will be raised by cutting around the area, maximizing blood flow to the tissue is critical.

Typically, we recommend at least 6 weeks of smoking cessation prior to any surgical procedure. Nicotine always increases the risk for infection, nipple necrosis, and wound complications, as well as other health consequences. I would discuss this with your surgeon prior to your procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Surgical Timing after Smoking Stopped

+1

The quick answer is that you will lower your risk of complications if you stop smoking at least a few months prior to surgery so you might want to consider rescheduling. Another way of putting this is: "Tell me, do you feel lucky?"
Most experts unanimously agree that smoking increases the rate of  breast augmentation surgical complications significantly. Just about all plastic surgeons strongly recommend  women  to stop smoking and all nicotine products well in advance of breast augmentation with breast implants.  Many plastic surgeons recommend stopping all tobacco products several months prior to surgery.A scientific article in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicated that, among all forms of surgery, quitting smoking eight weeks prior was never associated with an increased risk of complications.
Here is the reason why: the nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products (including Nicorette gum, patches, etc) is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it makes the Smoking is a significant multiplier of many potential complications following surgery and breast augmentation with implants are no exception. Nicotine from smoking causes blood vessels to vasoconstrict ( tighten up). Over time, these constricted arteries and capillaries deliver less blood to the breast tissue which is needed for normal healing. Smokers therefore have an increased incidence of higher likelihood of complications such as infection, and in particular capsular contracture (hardening and distortion of the implants). General complications of surgery such as blood clots, anesthetic problems such as pneumonia are also increased. For a tummy tuck there is increased likelihood of both an infection and loss of skin because of inadequate circulation.
In young patients you will probably statistically avoid these complications, why tempt fate by increasing your odds that something bad will happen. .On a long term basis, smoking also causes accelerated aging of the skin and loss of elasticity. Hopefully these reasons will help give you the will power and courage to stop smoking.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Smoking before Breast Augmentation/Lifting?

+1

You should be free of any type of nicotine product  for at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to breast augmentation/ mastopexy surgery.  This holds true for other plastic surgical procedures that involve flaps,  such as facelift thing and tummy tuck surgery.

Nicotine behaves as a vasoconstrictor of blood vessels thereby decreasing blood flow to tissues ( that need to receive blood flow to heal after surgery).  A decrease in this blood flow may result in wound healing problems and/or tissue death.

I hope this helps

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 681 reviews

You might also like...

Smoking and surgery

+1

I do not like to operate on smoker's because of the increased risk of significant complications. It is best to stop 3-4 weeks prior and stay off during the recovery periond for 3-4 weeks.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Complications from smoking increase significantly for breast augmentation and breast lift

+1

Hi,

You should definitely postpone your surgery. At the minimum, you should discontinue tobacco use for at least 4 weeks prior to surgery. Why? Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes significantly increase the risk of wound healing complications. In combination with breast lift, which involves significant undermining and tightening of breast tissue, and breast implant placement, which puts pressure on the undersurface of the breast skin, complications from tobacco usage can be catastrophic. The most severe complications include loss of the nipple and areola and implant exposure, requiring removal.

All cosmetic surgery involves some kind of risk/benefit analysis. The potential risks from tobacco use outweigh the potential benefits of breast augmentation and lift.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

Sam Jejurikar, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Avoid smoking about one month prior to Aug/Masto

+1

Smoking increases the risks of surgery. Healing in particular is adversely affected in smokers. There are several different types of breast lift. Most involve creating skin flaps that are sewen together under the breasts. This is usually where the healing problems occur.

Almost everyone agrees that smoking can cause healing problems. It is not clear, however, how long to stop smoking prior to having a procedure. I think many plastic surgeons suggest stopping a month before surgery. I agree with this.

Remember, second hand smoke can also affect your healing. Your should avoid being around anyone else who is smoking before and immediately after the surgery as well.

James H. Schmidt, MD
Sarasota Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Avoid smoking for four weeks before augmentation/mastopexy

+1

I do not believe that 9 days off nicotine is enough time before an augmentation/lift done at the same time. I do not know what incisions are planned, but the more incisions and skin removal, the higher your risk. Postponing the surgery for an additional 20 days would give you 4 weeks off cigarettes/nicotine and I would strongly advise you to postpone. There is no upside to proceeding and there is a major potential downside.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast Lifing, Augmentation, Recovery

+1

Deear Cdo

There is increased risk with smokers in all surgeries. Even with cesation of smoking you have an elevated risk over non- smokers. There is no definitive prescribed timeline for reduction of risk. Splitting up the surgery into 2 procedures/days is an option.

With Warm Regards,

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Smoking and surgery

+1

patients to refrain from ANy exposure to ANY tobacco product for at least 2 weeks before and after surgery. The more invasive or complicated a surgery is where blood supply can be compromised to an are of the surgery, such as the nipple or breast incisions, the greated the risk of complications. These complications, as I'm sure your plastic surgeon has told you, can include poor wound healing, increased risk of infection up to the loss of your nipple(s). I would discuss this with you plastic surgeon but you are doing yoursealf a favor by being honest about it. I wish you well.

Dr Edwards

Michael C. Edwards, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Smoking & Augmentation with Breast Lift

+1

If you do not resume smoking, it is probably safe to proceed with your surgery. However, combined augmentation/mastopexy always carries a risk greater than either procedure alone and many plastic surgeons will not perform these at the same time. A single cigarette post-operatively could possibly cause problems with healing or even tissue necrosis.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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.