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Smoking Before Breast Lift?

I am scheduled for a breast lift on May 21. When I went to the doctor in March he told me I needed to be cigarette-free for 4 weeks before surgery. So, about 5 weeks ago I went from about 14-15 cigarettes a day to about 1 per day. This past week I went from 1 to nothing. Should I be ok for surgery in 1.5 weeks?

Doctor Answers (8)

Stop smoking before and after a breast lift


You just never completely know about healing in smokers.  If you have been off smoking for 4 weeks prior to surgery we believe that the risks do go down.  Continue to smoke after surgery and you are asking for wound healing problems.  

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Smoking before elective surgery - bad idea


Every surgeon has their smoking cessation protocol.  Please talk to your surgeon and be honest about your tobacco/cigarette use.  Best of luck!

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Smoking and breast lift


Every surgeon should have  a policy on smoking and elective surgery. You need to be honest with yours and make sure that he/she is comfortable continuing with your procedure. Even though the odds are that you would have no problems with the surgery, there really is no reason to take a risk. I would suggest postponing the surgery until you were able to be compliant with your surgeon's policy. 

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

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Smoking before breast lift


I tell my patients they need to be smoke free for 3 weeks both before and after surgery. The final word should be from your own surgeon. Don't cheat or you will pay a big price.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
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Smoking and breast procedures...a relative no-no.


In general, smoking is well-documented to lead to delayed wound healing problems related to all types of surgical procedures.  In the breast, this can mean damage to the vasculature supplying the nipple/areola complex as well as all lines of incisions.  The results can vary from simply delayed wound healing to gross wound dehiscence (wound coming apart) leading to contour and symmetry problems.  Sometimes, secondary procedures are required to revise the non-healing areas.  Also, fat necrosis can be a problem following breast procedures in smokers, which can lead to infection or firm lumps in the breast.  I, too, recommend smoking cessation well in advance (at least 4 weeks) prior to any procedure, especially for breast and body.  You certainly should not pick up smoking for at least 6 weeks following your procedure, assuming an uneventful postoperative period.

Andre Panossian, MD, FACS
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Smoking and breast surgery


This is a good question with varying answers.  My group's protocol now is to do in-office testing to see whether nicotine metabolites are still detectable.  This has been a helpful guide to us.  Speak to your surgeon about your concerns.  Good luck!

David C. Yao, MD, FACS
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Smoking before Breast Lift?


You will need to inform your plastic surgeon of your situation. Only he  will be able to make the decision whether or not to proceed with surgery. Otherwise, you will receive a variety of online opinions;  none of them may be specific/relevant given that every plastic surgeon may have a different practice.

Best wishes.

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

Smoking before any type of surgical procedure



Yes, you should be ok. Just make sure you don't pick it up during or after your procedure. Lifting procedures are complex and require maximum oxygination of breast tissue through arterial supply. Arterial supply is greatly compromised during surgery. In addition to oxygen, your arteries distribute antibiotics and natural fighting organisms to help fight infections and help with wound healing. Please, please DO NOT smoke! Otherwise, you will find yourself with a multliple of problems that are extremely unpleasant. Best wishes,

Dr. H

ps. stay away from second hand smoke-just as harmful!

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 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.