Smoking Electronic Cigarette Ok After Breast Aug/lift?

i know i cant smoke but can i smoke a electronic cigarette

Doctor Answers 9

Nicotine and surgery

Here are the major points of smoking Tobacco or Marijuana before or after surgery:
1. There is nicotine in tobacco, but not in marijuana. However, most joints are rolled with marijuana and tobacco combination. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that decreases blood flow to the tissues. This is the major problems that can cause a very bad outcome in some surgeries. In a breast augmentation, there is not a lot of risk as there are not a lot of incisions which decrease blood flow to the tissues. In a breast lift or tummy tuck, on the other hand, there is much longer and more involved incisions. The decrease in blood flow to the tissues in combination with the decrease in blood flow from the nicotine can cause tissue to die. This can cause part of the breast or nipple, or in the case of a tummy tuck, part of the belly tissue to die, resulting in a very bad outcome. Marijuana without tobacco does not cause this problem, or marijuana in an edible fashion.  Vaporizers do not decrease the amount of nicotine in tobacco, only decrease the smoke.
2. There is carbon monoxide in both tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke. Carbon monoxide decreases the oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin in the blood. This is different from the vasoconstrictor effect, but has the same result of having the risk of tissue death in conjunction with surgeries that decrease the blood flow to tissues such as breast lifts and tummy tucks, as opposed to an augmentation alone that does not decrease blood flow to as great of an extent. Again, edible forms of marijuana do not have smoke, and thus carbon monoxide poisoning.
3. Coughing. Both tobacco and marijuana smoke disrupt the lining of the lungs and bronchi and can lead to coughing episodes. Coughing episodes can lead to internal bleeding after surgery that can lead to hematomas and complications, and again a bad outcome. Again, edible forms of marijuana does not have this effect.
4. Anesthesia effects. Marijuana can have drug interactions with certain anesthetic drugs. Thus it is important to tell your anesthesiologist about your marijuana use.
In conclusion, Smoking, whether it be tobacco or marijuana, is detrimental to your surgery outcome. Edible marijuana is much less so, but be honest about your use with your surgeon and anesthesiologist so that you can have the best outcome. In general, you should quite smoking many weeks, ideally 6 weeks before surgery, and not smoke for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Have a question? Ask a doctor

All Nicotine forms are bad for breast implants

Any form of nicotine be it cigarettes, nicotine gum, lozenges, chewing tobacco, patches or e-cigarettes  all share the same risk as smoking. For breast implant augmentation surgery this means a significantly higher risk of capsular contracture.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Smoking and Surgery

Thank you for your question.

The electronic cigarettes may still have nicotine and nicotine is what we need to stay away from when having surgery to ensure proper wound healing.

Best Wishes!

Use of Electronic Cigarettes after Cosmetic Surgery

There are electronic cigarettes that do not contain nicotine and those that do.  It is best to avoid all forms of nicotine, as the use of nicotine can greatly impact your healing and can cause problems following surgery. 

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Smoking, its the nicotine that matters

A smoke-less or electronic cigarettes still produce nicotine, and the nicotine is the problem with healing after surgery. Actually we find smoking has little impact on breast augmentation, but to play it safe, no smoking or no nicotine for at least two weeks is best.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Electronic cigarettes

If electronic cigarettes have nicotine in them, then you can not smoke them. The nicotine constricts blood vessels and can impair wound healing.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Smoking Electronic Cigarettes after Surgey is NOT OK?

Electronic cigarettes still contain nicotine which constricts blood vessels and can cause serious problems after surgery. It is best to avoid all nicotine products.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Electronic cigarettes are a bad idea!

Though some electronic cigarettes have a "nicotine-free" flavor only vapor effect, others have "flavor and nicotine" cartridges, and nicotine is the problem. This includes nicotine patches, gum, spray, and even second-hand smoke. Nicotine is a potent vasoconstrictor, and dead skin or dead nipples can be the result. Honest, no exaggeration!

So, even if you are using the "safe" no-nicotine e-cigarettes, why must you simulate smoking at all? You already know nicotine is the problem, and "smoking" these e-cigarettes only makes others around you want to light up. Their REAL cigarettes! With real second-hand nicotine!

Second-hand smoke is just as bad for you as smoking yourself!

Even 1 cigarette, even exposure to second-hand smoke, even 1 Nicorette gum (you get the idea) can cause enough vasoconstriction that you could end up with a dead nipple/areola complex or dead breast skin flaps requiring prolonged dressing changes for an open wound, skin grafts, and additional reconstructive surgery. If your implants become exposed, they have to come out. Forget the cosmetic result--now your surgeon is just trying to get your breasts healed!

I do not perform surgery on smokers, as it shows inadequate commitment on the patient's part in obtaining a safe good result. And of course, you know who is expected to "fix things" when these problems develop, even though circulation problems are almost always preventable by compliance with NO SMOKING requirements!

If your surgeon asked you on the morning of surgery "Is it OK if I don't do my best work today? I can't seem to focus on the important things about your case; it's too hard" would you cheerfully go ahead? That, dear lady, is what you just asked--and you already know the answer! One more example, just in case I am being too obtuse. If your teenage daughter asked you if it was OK to have "pretend sex" with her boyfriend, what would your answer be?

Truly, I'm not trying to be mean or rude, but even though nicotine-free flavor-vapor electronic cigarettes may be "technically" safe, the risks of second-hand smoke, or simply falling off the wagon are too great, and you really don't want dead skin or nipples! Really! You may wish to consider Zyban or Chantix--ask your doctor and good luck!


Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 171 reviews

Better to Avoid Them

It's probably safer if you avoid electronic cigarettes as well as regular cigarettes. While ecigarettes may not have the same number of harmful chemicals, they can still compromise your recovery and increase the risk of complications.

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.