I've had both upper and lower eye lid surgery, arm reduction and a tummy tuck. I am a smoker and am 51 years old. I've healed fine in all cases. Why can't I have a neck or facelift?
Why Can't I Have Neck or Facelift as a Smoker?
Doctor Answers (36)
Smoking and facelift surgery.
Most cautious plastic surgeons will not perform any cosmetic procedure that involves a lot of tissue undermining on a smoker. These procedures include facelifts, neck lifts, breast lifts, tummy tucks, and breast reductions to name a few. At my Austin, Texas plastic surgery practice I routinely make patients wait 4-6 week without smoking before having any of the above procedures. The issue is nicotine which causes constriction of the smallest blood vessels which are needed to heal procedures that have a lot of undermining of tissues. Failure to quit smoking can lead to devastating results such as open wounds and loss of entire parts of the cheeks or sections of breast/abdomen. Chantix and smoking cessation programs can help. Just because you got away with it once doesn’t mean you will be lucky again, so a prudent approach is to stop smoking for at least 4-6 weeks before and after a facelift.
Best of luck,
Facelift for Smokers
Whenever you undergo elective surgery, our goals are to ensure your safety and to have great results. Smoking impairs the blood supply to the area of skin that has been dissected or lifted and can potentially compromise your results with skin sloughing or skin necrosis.
Smoking and surgery
Nicotine decreases the oxygen to tissues by vasoconstriction and therefore increases the risks of surgery to the areas operated on. You were lucky with your prior surgeries without complication. I would not suggest taking the risk with the facelift.
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Facelifting for Smoker?
Nicotine is constrictor of blood vessels, decreasing blood flow to tissues that need to flow to heal after surgery. When plastic surgeons do operations that involve longer incisions and/or tissue flaps, the blood flow to these areas become critical. Without the blood flow ( or a decreased blood flow secondary to the effects of nicotine) healing can be compromised and/or tissue may not survive (tissue necrosis).
For this reason, most plastic surgeons will not operate on patients who smoke within a time period prior to surgery (for specific operations such as facelifting, breast lifting, tummy tuck surgery etc.).
I hope this helps.
Having any surgery and continuing to smoke is a bad idea. The healing process is compromised due to constricting the blood vessels and blood supply. The healing time will be much longer.
Reason why combining Nicotine ( Smoking) and Facelift / Tummy Tucks is a Really Bad Idea
Nicotine causes severe and prolonged narrowing of all blood vessels in the body (resulting in hypertension and a harder working hert). The effect is especially marked in the skin when the blood circulation drops significantly even after a single cigarette smoked or inhaled from a nearby smoker.
In operations in which the skin is undermined and lifted widely from the underlying muscles ( Facelift , Tummy Tuck, Breast Lift etc) and then depends critically on a good circulation through the skin. In a smoker, this circulation is seriously compromised, leading to death of a large area of the skin with a very poor cosmetic result after a long recovery and potentially several operations.
Peter A Aldea, MD
Facelifts and nicotine don't mix
The nicotine in any form constricts the blood flow to the skin and when it is lifted to do a facelift a substantial amount could die and make horrible scar. Don't try to do this!
Smoking and facelift/necklifts
Neck or Facelift in a Smoker
In a face and neck lift the amount of undermining with the impaired blood supply from the smoking puts the patient at risk for skin loss. Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA