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How Does Marijuana Affect Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Will marijuana/THC affect the Tummy Tuck surgery or anesthesia? I have heard this and I was curious. I'm not a user but I want to know from a doctor because you never know what you can trust just looking something up online.

Does it matter if the person is a heavy smoker of it or just every once in a while smoker? If it does affect it, why? I'm curious because I know there is medical use out there for some patient.

Doctor Answers (5)

Don't allow your tummy tuck to go up in smoke



I think that you have gotten great advice from the other surgeons that I agree with. The main issue is the hazardous effects of smoking and healing of your tummy tuck incision. The last thing that you and your surgeon want to deal with would be an abdominal wound. It is preferable to stop smoking so that you can have the best outcome possible.

Good Luck!

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Marijuana and Healing


It's well established that one tobacco cigarette reduces tissue oxygen levels for up to 4 hours and repeated smoking will result in wound healing problems. The reasons for this is mostly related to the vascular constriction caused by the nicotine. However, because there are over 100 other chemicals in cigarettes the exact one or ones that result in wound healing problems hasn't been determined.

There aren't any studies that have looked at the effect of THC on wound healing. There tend to be less additional chemicals in marijuana so it may be less detrimental but this is only speculation.

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Effect of Marijuana on healing is largely unknown



Marijuana probably has a negative effect on wound healing for the reasons the others have noted. This has not been studied though. Suffice it to say that it should be curtailed to decrease its possible risk to healing of the wound. 

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

How does marijuana smoke interfere with wound healing and plastic or cosmetic surgery


One of the most important factors in a wounds ability to heal is the oxygen content of the tissue.

Anything that interferes with oxygen delivery to a wound can impair wound healing.

If I can provide an oversimplified analogy. Plants require water to grow. Interfering with the water supply can compromise plant growth i.e., "you can't grow roses in the desert" is my saying.

The carbon monoxide in any smoke (tobacco or marijuana) plus the particles in the smoke can interfere with the lungs ability to oxygenate the blood. IF the blood is not oxygenated, then the wound will not reciev sufficient oxygen to assure uncomplicated healing.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Marijuana and wound healing


Although it does not have nicotine in it as cigarettes do (which acts as a constrictor), it does affect the oxygenation of tissue. During the healing process, oxygenated tissue will heal faster then those with less oxygen. Smoking can lead to increase wound breakdown, infection and open wounds. The amount that you smoke will affect healing but for elective surgery you should stop altogether to reduce your risks of complications after surgery. Although Marijuana is used to help increase appetite as well as decrease some side effects of chemotherapy, it still has a negative effect on wound healing.

Sharon Theresa McLaughlin MD
Long Island City Plastic Surgeon

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.