Will Smoking Hookah Negatively Effect my Nipples During Surgery?

During breast reduction surgery will my nipples die if I have smoked hookah during 3 times during the past six months. I know the nurse said if I smoked there would be a risk but I never thought about it like this until I was at the hookah bar. Someone please help me because I am freaking out and I am scared. I've never smoked cigarettes or anything else in my entire life!

Doctor Answers (6)

Smoking Hookah Before / After Surgery


The centuries old custom of smoking Water pipes / Nargila / Hookahs is spread throughout the Asia and North Africa and has spread into Europe and the Americas. While the tobacco smoke is flavored by a collection of flavors and is cooled by travelling through cold water it is NOT less hazardous to your general health. As a matter of fact, hookah smokes contains 36 TIMES the amount of tar as does cigarette smoke. In addition to tar, you will STILL be exposed to 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing chemicals and 400 other toxins. including  nicotine, and carbon monoxide among others. Nicotine causes severe and prolonged closure of blood vessels which may starve skin of oxygen. As a result, smokers, first or second hand are much more likely to suffer wound separation, fat death and nipple losses after surgery.

Speak with your surgeon.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Nicotine Before Breast Reduction?


Thank you for the question.

Nicotine ( of any kind) is a vasoconstrictor and can lead to problems with blood flow to tissues and resulting wound healing problems. Furthermore, blood flow to the nipple/areola may be compromised during breast reduction surgery. Any form of nicotine usage should be stopped at least one month prior to surgery.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 680 reviews

Nicotine is never good before surgery...


Normally when having surgery it is recommended to stop smoking four weeks before and two weeks after surgery to aviod complications.  The nicotine in cigarettes or hookah constricts blood vessels which can affect healing especially in procedures like breast reduction or tummy tuck.  The fact that you are not an everyday smoker and only smoked hookah three times should not effect your healing process as long as it has been more than one month.  It is always best not to smoke anymore of it for health reasons.  If you have any other questions or concerns I would contact your surgeon.

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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Breast Reduction and Smoking


You should be fine, three times should not have any effect, however patients are warned that they should not smoke at all 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery as it can cause complications. And then we hope if a patient has stopped smoking for those 4 weeks they won't start again! Good Luck!

Miguel Delgado, Jr., MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Smoking marijuana 3 times in 6 months will not increase the risks of breast reduction.


Occasional smoking of anything is really not harmful and will not jeopardize the viability of a nipple at the time of breast reduction.  Chronic smokers should stop several weeks before surgery to minimize the risks of the operation.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

You should be ok


There is not much information specifically regarding hookah use and breast surgery. But you have done this only occasionally and i believe you should be ok. But it would not be a good idea to use the hookah the night before your surgery. Talk to your surgeon about this and he/she would agree that this is a very small risk the way you have descibed it.

Bala S. Chandrasekhar, MD - RETIRED
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

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.