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Breast Implants for a Smoker?

I am 54 years young, in good health, but I do smoke. Can I have breast augmentation?

Doctor Answers (15)

Smoking and surgery

+2

I can’t stress it enough: A cigarette habit greatly compromises healing. Smoking damages skin, keeps incisions from repairing and worsens scarring. Moreover, nicotine, which gets into the bloodstream, can cause blood clots. Smoking triggers the release of skin-damaging free radicals, increases swelling, worsens scarring, and impedes healing by limiting blood flow to the skin.

If you smoke, you should refrain for at least two weeks before your procedure and two weeks after. I’d far prefer it, of course, if you started cutting back well before that two-week mark. It’s a bad idea to be smoking regularly before you have surgery, and an even worse idea after. Among the other threats that smoking poses is the distinct chance that you won’t be able to find a self-respecting surgeon to perform the desired procedure. Wouldn’t this be the perfect occasion to seriously try to kick the habit?


New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast Implants for a smoker

+2

There are smokers and THERE ARE SMOKERS! Yes, smokers can have breast implants, BUT there is an increased risk of healing delays, infections, bleeding. So see 3 boarded plastic surgeons in person to get their take. Regards.

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Smoking and Breast Augmentation

+2

It really depends if you need a lift. If you do, you will have to stop atleast 2 weeks before and until you are healed after. If it is just an augmentation only, you can get it done but I have found that capsular contracture rate for patients who smoke tends to be higher.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

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Breast Implants in Smokers

+2

I agree that smoking can certainly contribute to problems with wound healing. In fact I will not perform a full tummy tuck, standard reduction, or standard facelift on smokers. I do not, however, refuse to perform augmentations on smokers or insist that they stop smoking. I have not to date seen any significant wound healing problems in smokers undergoing augmentation.

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

Breast implants for a smoker?

+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 breast augmentation where the viability of the nipple-areolar complex is obviously important. Since the vascularity to the area is already tenuous with placement of the implant beneath, maximizing blood flow to the tissue is critical.

Typically, we recommend at least 6 weeks of smoking cessation prior to and at least 6 weeks after any surgical procedure. The longer, the better. Nicotine always increases the risk for infection, nipple necrosis, and wound complications, as well as other health consequences. The most devastating consequence of infection, especially since an implantable prosthetic device is used, is increased. This along with wound healing and scarring. I would discuss this with your surgeon prior to your procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast augmentation and smoking

+1

Yes, you can have breast augmentation surgery, but you should keep in mind that the risks of anesthesia complications, poor wound healing, scarring, and capsular contracture all go up in smokers. If you can quit even three weeks prior to surgery, your risks begin to go down. Good luck, /nsn.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

You will have higher risk of complications

+1

You can have breast augmentation but you have higher risk of complications from anesthesia and surgery. You can stop smoking for two weeks before and after surgery . This will decrease your risk.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

It's not ideal, but a smoker can have a breast augmentation

+1

It's relatively common to perform breast augmentation in patients who smoke, though they are at an increased risk for wound healing complications. Given your age, however, it is entirely possible that you require a concomitant breast lift. It is not safe to perform this operation in a patient using tobacco products, as your risks of significant wound healing complications, including loss of skin and loss of the nipple and areola is signficantly higher.

Your best is to quit using all tobacco products and all products containing nicotine for at least 4 weeks prior to any breast surgery.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

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

Smoking increases complications for breast augmentation

+1

Although smoking before/ after breast augmentation is not an absolute contraindication to having the surgery, it does increase the risk of developing complications. These include:

1) your incisions not healing properly and opening, thereby exposing your breast implant to an infection and requiring a possible removal;

2) your incisions not healing properly leading to increased scarring.

I ask ALL of my patients to stop smoking for at least 4 weeks before/ after their surgery to decrease the risk of these complications from occurring.

David A. Robinson, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Smoking and breast implants

+1

Smoking increases the risk of surgical complications. I would stop for a few weeks before surgery and continue to abstain from cigarettes for a few weeks after.

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