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Reschedule Breast Lift and Augmentation Days After Quitting Smoking?

I am having a modified breast lift with breast implants next Wednesday. I only stopped smoking 4 days ago; should I reschedule?

Doctor Answers (13)

Best to stop two or more months prior to Breast Lift and Augmentation


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.

Web reference:

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Smoking before Breast Augmentation/Lifting?


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

Web reference:

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 628 reviews

Smoking and lift


I request that my patients stop smoking 3-4 weeks prior to surgery and delay restarting for another 3-4  weeks.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Minimum of 2 weeks without smoking before breast lift with breast implants.



In New York City, we really prefer that patients be smoke free for at least two weeks before having a breast lift with breast implants.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

It depends on the type of lift, but you should consider rescheduling!


For breast implants, smoking may not be as much of an issue. The bigger issue is the lift. If it is a significant lift (repositioning the nipple), you are at risk for wound healing problems and losing the nipple! NOT WORTH IT! If it is a more minor lift, it likely won't be a big issue, but smoking may still worsen the appearance of the scars and make waking up after surgery rougher (more likely to cough, maybe higher risk of pneumonia). This is elective surgery and you want it to go as smoothly as possible, so rescheduling is the smartest thing to do! Good luck!

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Smoking and breast surgery


Patients should be off all tobacco products (inluding nicotine patches/gum) for a minimum of two weeks before and two weeks after cosmetic surgery. This risk of wound healing complications, poor scarring, nipple/areola skin loss is much higher in patients who smoke during(before/after) surgery. Also, with breast implants, there is higher risk of capsular contracture (thick scar tissue) developing in smokers.

The longer you can quit smoking, the better your chances of normal wound healing. You can always postpone elective surgery to improve your chances of getting a better result.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Smoking and elective surgery


Yes you need to re-schedule. Smoking has a significant effect wound healing and will increase your risk of complications. This is elective surgery, it needs to be as safe as possible. Please tell your surgeon and re-schedule.

Different techniques of breast lifts have varying degrees of risk to blood supply and healing. Your surgeon should be able to advise you the proper length of time. There is no proven correct period of time to be smoking free. For most procedures i would recommend a minimum of 3 weeks. For some procedures that have an inherent increased risk it could be longer.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Smoking and Plastic Surgery


Yes, you need to reschedule your surgery and let your plastic surgeon know.  You need to stop smoking atleast 2 weeks prior to your surgery if not 4 weeks.  Not even one.  Your complication rate is greatly increased as well if you continue to smoke.

Good luck.

Web reference:

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast Lift and augmentation patient should be nicotine-free for at least one month


Dear Lulu,

As a group, women undergoing combined augmentation and lift procedures are the unhappiest of all patients in plastic surgery and generate the largest number of lawsuits. I believe that if this group was limited only to smokers, the rate of complications would be astronomical.

Smokers have a huge rate of complications NOT only because of nicotine and other chemicals interfering with oxygen transport to the tissues but also because of a chronic state of vessel spasms reducing blood flow through tissues. When this is combined with the decreased flow caused by swelling in the skin and the interference with blood flow by the removal of breast skin involved in the lift, the chances of loss of the nipple and the wound falling apart is high.

In MY opinion, I would not operate on you for at least a nicotine free month to decrease the chance of such disasters. I would recommend you NOT have the surgery with only 4 days away from your last cigarette.

I hope this was helpful.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Smoking and elective surgery


Hi Lulu,

You should delay your surgery. Smoking tremendously increases the risks of breast lift with implant placement. Wound healing complications, which can include skin separation, skin loss, and nipple-areola loss, can be disastrous if they occur.

I make all of my patients quit smoking at least 4 weeks prior to having a breast lift with or without implant placement. Because this is elective surgery, there is no reason not to optimize all conditions to minimize the risks of surgery.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 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.