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Smoking and Breast Reduction?

My Breast Reduction + Lipo is scheduled for next week, but i JUST quit smoking (its only 6 days away). Do i HAVE to reschedule?? I really cant afford TO reschedule and i already have 2 weeks off work for recovery. I am so ashamed that i did not have better willpower to quit sooner. Thank you for your time :)

Doctor Answers (13)

Smoking and Breast Reduction: a bad combination


The decision is a joint one up to you and your surgeon. I would contact your plastic surgeon as soon as possible and let him know truthfully. He will appreciate your honesty. Next a discussion over your specific increased risks in necessary before a decision is made. 


Other factors need to be considered and  also add up such as being overweight, on Birth Control Pills or hormones, or if you have a medical condition that causes hypercoagulation. Most experts unanimously agree that smoking increases the rate of  breast  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 example,  for a tummy tuck there is increased likelihood of both an infection and loss of skin because of inadequate circulation

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Breast Reduction


To stop smoking is a difficulty but healthy accomplishment.  Smoking definately causes healing problems and some surgeries are more at risk than others.  Breast Reductions, Breast lifts, facelifts and tummy tucks are the most vulernable in my opinion.  I request patients to stop smoking for one month preop and one month postop.  Also it is important to refrain from nicotine gum or patches as these can put the same harmful substances into your bloodstream.  You must talk to your surgeon to be sure you are taking the safest route possible.  I hope this information is helpful.

Ronald H. Stefani Jr, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Best to come clean on smoking before breast reduction


It is difficulat to say how long to away from smoking before breast reduction surgery, though smoking may increase your risk of a complication healing afterward. Best thing is letting your surgeon know so that you can be scheduled appropriately.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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Smoking and breast reduction complications


Thanks for your question, and good job quitting smoking, however you bring up an excellent point of debate, how long is long enough before major surgeries like a breast reduction to quit.  My advice has always been 3-4 weeks before and 3-4 weeks after to reduce smoking related healing complications.  Each surgeon uses different breast reduction techniques-some of which are more susceptible to the negative effects of nicotine.  Please call your surgeon to discuss this important matter.  Good luck.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Smoking and breast reduction


Glad to hear that you were able to quit smoking but sorry to hear that it has only been one week.  I would recommend that you be honest with your plastic surgeon and speak with him/her regarding the smoking.  While it may be inconvenient to reschedule surgery, it will be much more inconvenient to experience any of the post-operative complications associated with the use of nicotine -- nipple necrosis, wound breakdown, fat necrosis, etc.  Any of these complications could further delay your return to work and full physical activity as well.  Again, please speak with your plastic surgeon and good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Rescheduling Breast Reduction Due To Smoking


It is better to endure the inconvenience of resheduling than to suffer a major or even a minor wound healing issue of your breast reduction. You will get over the former way before the latter. You need to discuss this with your plastic surgeon immediately.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast reduction and smoking

This is a discussion which you needed to have had with your surgeon at the time the surgery was scheduled. All smoking is bad in terms of scarring and wound necrosis, but the more you have smoked, the greater the risk. I agree with others that you are assuming risk by having the surgery now---and that you need to be forthright with your surgeon and take responsibility for the cancellation.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Talk to your Plastic Surgeon


What matters most at this point is you address this particular question with your plastic surgeon. Hoping that someone would say it will be fine, in this forum is not the right approach. 

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Smoking and breast reduction


Every surgeon will have his/her own policy on smoking restrictions and elective surgery. I personally would require at least 4 weeks of no smoking before a breast reduction. Rescheduling is less inconvenient than the possibility of dealing with wound healing issues. Although the chances are actually good that you could have the surgery without any problems, there really is no reason to increase your risk for an elective procedure. 

William T. Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Smoking 6 Days Before Breast Reduction


It is important to be honest and discuss this with your plastic surgeon as soon as possible. You have a much higher risk for serious complications by having a breast reduction at this time. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Ohio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.