Is it Okay if I Smoked 1 Week After Gynecomastia Surgery?

Hi! I had gynecomastia surgery/liposuction on my chest area a week ago. I was told by my doctor that i should not drink alcohol or smoke atleast two weeks post-surgery. I followed his instructions carefully but yesterday i was at my friends party, and unfortunatley i smoked one cigarette. I am very scared that this will affect my recovery and give me bad result of the surgery. i can not stop thinking about it.Is smoking one cigarette going ruin my recovery completly? i am very scared!

Doctor Answers 10

Smoking 1 Cigarette after Gynecomastia Surgery Should Not Affect the Final Result

Smoking affects healing by decreasing blood supply, and thus oxygen to the healing tissues.  One cigarette will temporarily decrease the circulation to the surgical wound, but should not affect the final result.  Just as important as not smoking after surgery is also not smoking at least 2 weeks before surgery

If you were to continue to smoke just 1 cigarette per day, the effect of the nicotine lasts up to 24 hours, and is essentially the same as smoking 10 cigarettes.

So, you will be fine if you don't continue to smoke.

I hope this answer helps relieve you concerns.    Good luck!

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

10413 NE 37th Circle
Kirkland, WA 98033

Smoking After Gynecomastia Surgery

Hi King90,

Thanks for the post. It is advised not to smoke for 3 to 4 weeks before and after surgery. There are two reasons for this:

1. Nicotine decreases the blood flow to the surgical areas which can affect healing.
2. The toxins in cigarettes can irritate the airways which can lead to increased coughing after surgery and increase the chance of bleeding.

That being said, smoking one cigarette will not in all likelihood have an effect on your results. 


Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

9201 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Is it Okay if I Smoked 1 Week After Gynecomastia Surgery?

Cigarette smoking should be avoided after any surgery.  One cigarette, though, will likely not cause any issues.  All the same, avoid smoking.  Good luck and be safe.

John T. Nguyen, MD, FACS, FICS
Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

John Nguyen, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

16614 Creek Bend Drive
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Smoking 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. This is especially bad in breast reductions or face lifts. In a rhinoplasty the tip of the nose and the columella, the area between the tip and the lip, is at risk. Your skin and tissue can turn black and fall off if this happens. 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. Hookah also does not decrease nicotine.
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

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

8900 Raintree
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Is it okay if I smoked 1 week after gynecomastia surgery?

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 gynecomastia procedure where the viability of the nipple-areolar complex is obviously important. Since the vascularity to the area is already tenuous since it will be raised by cutting around the area, 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, poor scarring, and wound complications, as well as other health consequences including blood clots. The anesthesia risk is greater with general anesthesia as well as pulmonary issues/lung infections postoperatively. 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 14 reviews

8900 E. Raintree Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Smoking after surgery

It is very unlikely that 1 cigarette will ruin your results.  However, please follow your plastic surgeon's instructions and stay away from tobacco/cigarettes and second hand smoke.  
Best of luck!

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

6400 Fannin
Houston, TX 77030

Smoking after Gynecomastia Surgery?

Thank you for the question.

Unless you were experiencing compromised  blood flow in the surgical area postoperatively, it is very unlikely that one cigarette will cause a “bad result".  For real reassurance follow-up with your plastic surgeon for examination.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,054 reviews

8851 Center Drive
San Diego, CA 91942

Smoking after Gynecomastia Surgery


Thank you for your question.

While I do strongly advise my patients to avoid alcohol and smoking
for at least two weeks following a procedure, I would not worry too
much over the one cigarette. As long as you will not smoke again
during the healing process. I applaud you for recognizing it and I
wish you a speedy recovery!

Good luck,

Dr. Sam Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

950 N Northwest Highway
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Smoking after gynecomastia surgery

Although it wasn't a great idea to have smoked that one cigarette, it's over and the wisest thing to do is to put it behind you and try not to smoke in the days to come. I ask my patients to refrain from smoking and drinking for at leat two weeks postoperatively. Social situations can be difficult and the important thing is that you recognized this, albeit after the fact. Best of luck form this point forward!!

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

112-03 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills, NY 11375

Postop Gynecomastia

Generally one cigarette will not affect your recovery.  Societal pressure can overcome good sense in many situations. However, let your surgeon know and he can advise you accordingly.   

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

1501 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

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.