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Smoking Socially Post Op Breast Lift?

I only smoke socially and generally only 1 day a week and not even every week. I had a anchor incision breast lift 10 days ago. Doctor said i was healing relatively fast. ( i am 17 years old) And i was wondering if it is okay to be around people that smoke and if i could have maybe 1 or 2 cigarettes? I am just very worried about the complications. Please help! Thanks. ( and for extra information, i am pretty sure i already have some sensation in my nipples.)

Doctor Answers 8

Smoking socially postop breast lift.

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 mastopexy 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 any surgical procedure. Nicotine always increases the risk for infection, nipple necrosis, and wound complications, as well as other health consequences. I would discuss this with your surgeon prior to your procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

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Avoid Second Hand Smoke after Breast Lift

  It is best to avoid smoke of any sort for at least 6 weeks after breast lift surgery.  Although it may have little effect, why chance this?

Smoking and post-op healing

Smoking in general or even second  hand smoke can impact wound healing and should be avoided.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Smoking and surgery do not mix

Nicotine can negatively affect your body's ability for proper wound healing.  It can increase your chance for infection, and can lead to skin/tissue loss.  It is important to be nicotine free for at least 6 weeks prior to surgery and throughout your healing process.  It is not worth the risk to have even one or two cigarettes.  

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Let's use a choking underwater example!

You want to know if 1 or 2 cigarettes are OK? When you've been told it carries the risk of DEAD SKIN?

So, to use my example--we both know that choking you underwater for say, the amount of time it takes to smoke a cigarette and the nicotine to get out of your system, will cause you to drown, right? And you want to know if it's OK to do that "only" once or twice. Once is quite enough, thank you very much!

If you smoke even one cigarette, you COULD end up with dead skin. Maybe not, but more likely than you seem to understand. Once the skin is dead, you cannot say,"If only you had told me how important that 'rule' about non-smoking was, I would have followed it." Or, "I had NO IDEA just one cigarette (or second-hand smoke) could cause dead skin!"

A little rat poison won't kill you; you still don't ask if it's OK to eat "just a little."

BTW, nipple sensation is a sign of an intact sensory nerve, and has NOTHING to do with circulation. Trust me, if your nipple skin dies, it will lose sensation, even if the nerve is alive everywhere else!

Sorry about the shouting caps, but you knew the answer before you asked, didn't you? Please don't smoke; don't be around people who smoke; and stop "social smoking" before it becomes a nicotine addiction (more strong than cocaine or heroin). We want your breast lift to heal as it should, but as physicians we also want you to be around and healthy to enjoy your new look! Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 169 reviews

Smoking Socially Post Op Breast Lift?

Your worry about complications is justified. The operation itself removes a lot of blood supply to the breast skin, by mechanically dividing many of the vessels that nourish the breast skin. Nicotine further aggravates the situation by narrowing the small remaining blood vessels. The consequence can be as bad as loss of some skin requiring additional surgery.

One or two cigarettes can do this.

Don't try it!! Best wishes.

Smoking after Breast Lift?

Congratulations on having undergone the breast lifting operation. You should stay away from nicotine of any kind for several additional weeks ( and hopefully forever). As you mentioned, the complications associated with smoking are significant...

 Best wishes.

Nicotine and breast lifts - stay completely away!

If you were my patient, I would be alarmed by this question.  Nicotine in any form including second hand smoke constricts the blood vessels nourishing the skin and helping it heal.  Hurting the blood flow can cause skin death, and big black open wounds with resultant horrible scars.  I would expect you to refrain from any exposure at all for a minimum of a month after your surgery.

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.