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Effects of Smoking on Breast Augmentation Results?

What happens if you still smoke before Breast augmentation? What are the effects on the outcome of the breasts and can I ever smoke again? I've actually quitted in January and have maybe smoke 3 cigarettes since. I am hoping I could still get breast implants.

Doctor Answers (19)

Smoking Effects on Breast Augmentation


Most experts unanimously agree that smoking increases the rate of  breast augmentation 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.

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. 

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.

In young patients you will probably statistically avoid these complications, why tempt fate by increasing your odds that something bad will happen.On a long term basis, smoking also causes accelerated aging of the skin and loss of elasticity. Hopefully these reasons will help give you the will power and courage to stop smoking.


Web reference:

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Smoking affects healing


There is no question that smoking affects healing adversely. Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood by increasing the carbon monoxide in the bloodstream and by vasoconstriction. There are many more complications with those who smoke and have breast implants such as complications of anesthesia (pneumonia and collapsed lung), so it is a good idea to quit at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. I have also noticed in my practice that many more women get capsular contractures (breast implants that feel hard) when they have been smokers.

Smoking also breaks down collagen, and ages the skin and causes wrinkles much more than those who do not smoke. It makes yo look much older for your age.

Web reference:

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Smoking Before Breast Surgery


Thank you for the question.

The use of nicotine (as in any form)  can lead to devastating complications after surgical procedures. Nicotine is a potent constrictor of blood vessels, preventing the delivery of oxygen etc. to surgical sites  that require good  blood flow to heal. The resulting decreased blood flow leads to potential problems with healing, tissue necrosis, open wounds,  infections…

Try to be nicotine free prior to surgery and stay nicotine free after surgery as well.

Best wishes.

Web reference:

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 626 reviews

Smoking and breast implants

Smoking (even a single drag) limits blood flow and oxygen to the surgical wound - which means you don't heal as easily or as well. I ask that my patients stop smoking at least two weeks before and two weeks after surgery - once you've stopped for four weeks why go back? Kick the habit - you'll look younger, have a better result, your scars will be less visible, and be healthier. Good luck.
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Smoking Increases Complications in Surgical Patients


         It’s not unusual for cosmetic surgery patients to smoke a cigarette. When patients smoke cigarettes, they have an increased rate of complications. This occurs for several reasons; including constriction of blood vessels and decreased oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells. This can result in decreased blood flow and decreased oxygen delivery to the skin and subcutaneous tissue.

         Patients who smoke cigarettes have a higher incidence of wound breakdowns, open wounds, tissue necrosis, infection and scarring. For these reasons, surgeons are very cautious when treating patients who smoke cigarettes or use nicotine products.

         The risk varies with the type of procedure performed. Procedures that involve extensive undermining of skin such as facelifts, abdominoplasty and breast reduction are associated with high complication rates. In cigarette smokers, procedures like rhinoplasty and breast augmentation that have less aggressive dissection are less likely to have wound complications.

         In an effort to minimize complications associated with cigarette smoking, we recommend not smoking for four to six weeks prior to surgery. We also recommend not smoking for at least one month following surgery. This approach is modified based on the type of procedure performed.

         Although the complication rate from cigarette smoking in breast augmentation isn’t high compared to some types of surgery, it still can be significant. For this reason, breast augmentation patients should stop smoking before undergoing surgery. Also, patients who stop smoking prior to surgery, have a decreased incidence of pulmonary complications. If you have questions regarding cigarette smoking and your surgery, make sure you discuss them with your surgeon.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Do Not Smoke Before or After Surgery

Patients are advised to quit smoking before any type of surgery.Although smoking in and of itself should not be expected to impair the healing process of a breast augmentation, it may cause complications related to the anesthesia or the ability to take a deep breath after the procedure.Heavy smokers have a diminished ability to remove secretions from the deeper part of the lungs.After any type of surgery in the chest area, patients are sometimes reluctant to take the necessary deep breaths to keep the lungs properly inflated.If this type of deep breathing is not performed after the operation, then the patient could develop some degree of pneumonia.

Many patients who are heavy smokers have chronic coughs.Severe coughing after any type
of surgery can lead to unwanted postoperative bleeding.

Many of these problems can be avoided if the patient quits smoking for several weeks before
the procedure.
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Smoking and breast augmentation effects.


As you can imagine, smoking is bad for breast augmentation, (and surgery in general). Most would say that you have a significantly higher rate of wound complications. When one takes a drag on a cigarette, the chemicals cause vasoconstriction. Wound healing is all about getting blood flow and oxygen to the tissue. I believe that you will find that each doctor may have a different opinion as to how long you need to be off cigarettes. Some will test for nicotine in the system. Best to talk with a board certified plastic surgeon. Also best to quit smoking, (for a variety of other health reasons as well).

Web reference:

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Smoking and a breast aug


Breast augmentation surgery is one of the few I am willing to perform on a smoker although you will always get the best results by quitting all nicotine products three months preoperatively. Best of luck.

Wellesley Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast Augmentation


Surgical complications such as infection, poor wound healing, poor scarring, etc. are all significantly increased if you smoke.  I have my patients quit smoking 4-6 weeks peri-operatively.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Effects of smoking on breast implants


It sounds like you have been very successful in stopping smoking. Complications caused by smoking are much less of an issue for breast augmentation than for many other procedures because augmentation minimally interferes with blood supply. If you resume smoking sometime after surgery, it should not have ill effects on your results.

Web reference:

Chicago 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.

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