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I Am Having Surgery for Ventral Hernia Repair and an Abdominalplasty Done in About 2 Weeks but I Smoked a Cigarette?

I am due to have surgery for hernia repair an abdominal plasty done on in about 2 weeks but I smoked cigarette, one on friday and one on Saturday. I also smoked on May 5 and April 22. Will I still be okay to have the surgery done with limiting my risk for complications. I haven't been smoking since the mid of April

Doctor Answers (5)



Cigarettes increase your risk of complications.  I have all of my patients stop one month before surgery.  In most circumstances you will be ok but if you have a problem you will regret the cigarettes.  Remember that most people do not die of smoking but rather get chronic diseases such as emphysema and atherosclerosis which disrupt your ability to carry out simple daily activities. 

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Smoking and tummy tuck


If you are a smoker, you have an increased risk of wound healing complications following tummy yuck, especially the risk of skin slough.  If you had a cigarette or two several weeks prior to your surgery it probably will not make any difference.  However, I am concerned that telling you that will make you think that another won't hurt, then another, and so on and so on.  So,try not to have any more cigarettes. It's really important.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Smoking before surgery


It sounds as if you have smoked minimally over the last few weeks which is good.  However, any smoking can delay wound healing.  I would also let your surgeon know so he or she can decide if you should postpone surgery.  I would also stop smoking completely (both now and after surgery) as this is the best gift you can give yourself.  Good luck to you!

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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Smoking and surgery


You need to let your surgeon know and discuss with him or her if the smoking that you have done will increase the risks of complications unacceptably. Smokers are at higher risk for complications and the more you smoke the higher the risk. And the longer between the last cigarette and the surgery the better. Your surgeon knows your individual situation best as well as the planned surgery and is in the best position to decide whether the risks outweigh the benefits. Good luck to you and please do yourself a favor and stop smoking.

Margaret Skiles, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Smoking and Tummy tuck.


Let your surgeon know and decide, and don't smoke anymore unless you want to cancel. And especially, don't smoke after surgery.  All the operations we do involving lifts (such as face lift, breast lift or reduction, tummy tuck) involve separating the skin from the underlying structures and markedly diminishing the blood flow to that skin. Nicotine causes still more loss of blood flow to the skin by narrowing the small blood vessels. This double insult often results in inadequate blood supply, risking  tissue loss and delayed healing, which can leave open wounds for months. 

Don't think about nicotine gum or patches--they are as bad or worse than cigarettes in this regard. 


Your call. Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 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.