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How Long Should You Stop Smoking Before Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers (15)

Smoking and Abdominoplasty

+1

The scientific data is clear that smoking is quite risky in patients having a tummy tuck.  Most plastic surgeons, including myself, require that you have no exposure to any tobacco/nicotine containing products for 4 weeks prior to and an additional 4 weeks after having the surgery.  Compromised normal blood flow in an abdominoplasty patient (via nicotine products along with thousands of other harmful chemicals in cigarettes) can at times lead to disastrous complications and significant/permanent scarring and pain.  You are having the surgery to improve your looks, so don't set yourself up to potentially make your tummy look worse!  Best wishes!


Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy Tuck

+1

Smoking has a significant effect on bloodflow.  It is particularly important with surgery such as tummy tucks because the abdominal skin flap needs the blood supply to effectively heal the abdominal flap incision.  I tend to be very cautious in smokers when I do these procedures.  I prefer patients to stop smoking for one month and to be off all aids such as nicotine gum (the gum puts some of the compromising substances into your system that effects blood supply.)  In addition, I am also a bit more conservative in the "tuck" portion of the procedure to avoid too much ension on the tummy skin as I have noticied that even smokers who quit for one month preop have a slower healing of the incision skin edge.  I hope this information is helpful for you.

Ronald H. Stefani Jr, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Be Tobacco Free Before Surgery

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The use of tobacco products is extremely detrimental to the surgical process. Not only can tobacco use impair ones ability to heal incisions, but it places patients at much higher risk for other peri-operative complications such as atelectasis, pneumonia and deep venous thrombosis. It is essential that patients be COMPLETELY off all tobacco products, including nicotine gums and patches, for an absolute minimum of six weeks prior to surgery...and for as long as is required to be completely healed after surgery.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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Two weeks before and two weeks after of nonsmoking is recommended, but not always possible.

+1

A common recommendation is no smoking one month before and then one month after surgery.  However, I shorten this to two weeks for my patients because I know that it is a very difficult thing to quit and I'd rather them concentrate on no smoking for two weeks before and after rather than cheating during a longer period.  Some surgeons are very strict and won't even operate on patients who smoke.  I do not fell this way.  I tell my patients that their risk of delayed wound healing is increased if they smoke.  Tummy tucks are such an effective procedure that even if a patient has a wound that takes a few months to heal and leaves more scar tissue, they are still glad they did it.  I discuss this on my website (link is attached).  During surgery, I keep as much vascular supply to the skin flap as possible, particularly in smokers.  Remember, nicotine causes the little blood vessels to constrict, so using nicotine gum is not a good option.

Of course, it would be great if you could use this surgery as a new start on a healthier lifestyle and plan on quitting smoking at the same time.  You may find your confidence level is higher after the tummy tuck.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Smoking and tummytuck

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I ask my patients to be nicotine free for at least 3 months prior to a tummy tuck procedure.

This also applies to facelifts, breast reductions and breast lifts.  The effects of smoking a single cigarette will last 8-10 hours on the microcirculation.  These are the tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen to the tissues.  A lack of oxygen can cause tissue necrosis (death of tissue).

Daniel H. Kane, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Smoking cessation before tummy tuck

+1

The longer, the better!  I would recommend that you go through a smoking cessation program at least eight weeks prior to abdominoplasty.  Nicotine has longterm effects and interferes with wound healing so smoking can truly be adverse to the surgical outcome.  Wanting a tummy tuck can be an excellent motivation to quit.  I encourage you to speak with your doctor and find a program, whether hyponosis, Nicorette or another treatment, which will help you to be smoke-free!

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Stop Smoking before a Tummy Tuck

+1

I would stop the smoking, nicotine gum, and any nicotine patches for AT LEAST 4 weeks prior to surgery.  The nicotine will constrict blood vessels and may cause the blood supply to be weakend to the healing areas which can increase the wound complication rate.  It is just not worth taking a chance with elective surgery.  This advice is my recommendation prior to tummy tucks, facelifts, breast lifts and reductions, arm lifts, thigh lifts, and body lifts.

Christa Clark, MD, FACS
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Smoking before tummy tuck

+1

The longer the better.

You not only need to stop smoking for the period of time recommended by your plastic surgeon, you also need to be off any other form of nicotine, which is the culprit.  You must be off any nicotine containing gum or patch etc.

Don't cheat.

Good luck

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Stop smoking before tummy tuck

+1

Tummy tuck is one of the procedures which seems to have the most trouble for smokers (the other facelift). Poor healing and skin loss, infection, are all significantly increased with smoking and any nicotine affect. Stop smoking before tummy tuck, six to eight weeks is better than two weeks. Longer is always better.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Hello

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The longer time you are not smoking the better your body will heal. I f you can do a few months before and after surgery you will be better off.

 

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 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.