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Effects of Smoking on Tummy Tuck Results?

Will smoking as little at 2 to 3 cigarettes a day have an effect on my Tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers (4)

Tummy Tuck and Smoking


Smoking skyrockets your risks of complications following tummy tuck -- poor healing, incisions opening up, skin necrosis, etc. In fact, I will not perform a tummy tuck (an elective procedure) in an active smoker. I make sure my patients have been tobacco free 4-6 weeks before surgery. We also check a urine nicotine test (cotinine) to make sure the nicotine effects are gone. It's often hard to kick the habit. I also recommend that a smoker see their primary care physician to get formal assistance with smoking cessation programs.

Kicking the habit is not only important for your tummy tuck, its good for you anyway. So for you, smoking cessation should be your first step towards a flatter tummy.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Smoking affecting tummy tuck


Tummy tuck is an elective, in most cases non medically indicated surgery. There are risks associated with any operation and we as surgeons try to do everything possible to make those risks as small as possible. Smoking causes squeezing of the blood vessels. This decreases the blood flow to the healing tissues. Blood delivers oxygen and all the building blocks needed to heal the wound. Without perfect blood flow, your wound healing is compromised. You probably already know all the reasons you should not smoke. Smoking unreasonably increases your risk of suffering complications from an otherwise elective surgery. You and your surgeon will need to make the final decision, but I like to see all the cards stacked in favor of a problem free recovery. I would advise you to quit and to do it months before you have any surgery.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews




The disasterous effects of nicotine, in any form, on post-operative patients have been documented extensively in the Surgical Literature...not to mention the non-surgical literature as it pertains to cancer, respiratory disease, etc.

Cosmetic surgery is REAL surgery. Tummy tucks are REAL cosmetic surgery. I am sure your physician discussed with you the risks. You are expending a significant amount time, effort and money on this procedure...Optimize your results with respect to immediate recovery and long-term results by throwing away the cigarettes!

I recommend at least 2 weeks before and 1 month after....nicotine starves your surgical wound of needed oxygen and chokes wounds into not healing.

I hope this helps and Good Luck!

John Philip Connors III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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Smoking and a tummy tuck


There are countless answers about the dangers of nicotine and diminished skin blood flow that can lead to disaster in healing after a tummy tuck, breast lift or facelift. If you are serious about doing all you can to help keep yourself safe, you should be off all nicotine for a month before and a month after surgery.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 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.