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Smoking After Tummy Tuck?

When can I start smoking again?  its been 2 weeks since I had Tummy Tuck surgery and I feel just fine. No pain at all.

Doctor Answers (8)

Smoking after a Tummy Tuck is not in your best interests


Hi there-

Even though it sounds like you have done well for the first two weeks since your tummy tuck, I would not want you to believe that you are "out of the woods" with regards to the risks posed to your recovery and outcome by nicotine.

Please note that I have phrased the above very deliberately, because it is the nicotine, and not the smoke that is dangerous to you in this situation. Nicotine causes the small blood vessels throughout your body to constrict, limiting blood flow, and compromising healing- and for this reason, gums and patches are just as dangerous to your result and healing as a cigarette is.

Also, human wounds heal in exponential fashion for the first 6 weeks, so in the big scheme of things, you are really not very far along in the process. Any smoking at all might cause compromise of your healing, which could result in your needing to pack bandages in the wound for months, or worse, it could cause the death (necrosis) of some of the skin near the incision, which might take even longer to heal and leave you with a scar you will wish you could have prevented. Indeed, these risks are the reason many plastic surgeons won't consider doing a tummy tuck on a smoker.

While I'm glad that you have done well so far, I recommend you put any thoughts of cigarettes out of your mind for at least another few weeks. You've made a big investment in your body and appearance, and I know you wouldn't want to jeopardize that investment for the short term pleasure of the cigarette.

Hang in there, be strong, and DON'T SMOKE!

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

If you are healing well now, you can probably resume but ask your doctor


Avoidance of all nicotine products one month before and one month after surgery is what I recommend. You should certainly follow your doctor's restrictions specifically but I would imagine that if you had no evidence of tissue death or healing problems at 2 weeks after surgery, you could probably resume smoking without harm. But remember that it would be better for your surgical result and your overall health to stop for good now that you have temporarily quit!!

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Smoking after tummy tuck


Smoking is very bad! Hasn't your doctor told you that? You should use this opportunity to quit for good. With regard to wound healing, nicotine constricts blood vessels which need to stay wide open if your wound is going to heal properly. At the very least, I tell my smoking patients (after berating them to stop smoking) that they must wait 4 weeks to resume smoking. The last thing you need is for your wound not to heal properly because you started smoking too soon following surgery.

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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I would wait another two weeks, at least


I did have a patient who was healing fine at 10 days, then began smoking and ended up with poor healing and an open wound at the midline which, then has to heal in secondarily.  Abdominoplasty is a big surgery and you want the best results possible.

W. Tracy Hankins, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

No smoking after Tummy Tuck


I would not smoke even if you are two weeks post surgery. The scars are still immature. If you want them to heal nicely I would wait at least 4-6 weeks post surgery. You want the best results. Discuss with your surgeon.

Andrew T. Cohen, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Smoking 2 weeks after tummy tuck will not hurt your surgery.



I don't have to tell you that smoking is bad for you. Sometimes I think the best thing I do with cosmetic surgery is getting patients to stop smoking.

In New York, we don't do a tummy tuck unless a patient has stopped smoking for a month. But after 2 weeks, I cannot honestly say that smoking will damage your result.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews



You need to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. Frankly, it is not in your best interest to smoke this early and perhaps this is an opportunity to quit. Nicotine and other byproducts of cigarette smoke cause small blood vessels to close up, thus restricting blood flow. Your abdominal incision is dependent on good blood flow to heal. Get your doctor's advice before smoking.

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Smoking after Tummy Tuck


Excellent points by Dr Soto...I would just add that both nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes work against you in terms of getting the thin, inconspicuous scar you want. After spending so much money you'd be well served to wait several months if you can hold out.

Robert Frank, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 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.