Is 3 Weeks Long Enough to Past a Nicotine Unine Test & Have a Safe Breast Agumentation & Lift

My dr requires 4 weeks smoke free before having a breast lift. I would have been exactly that had I not smoked about 10 cigarettes after recieving some devastating news. However, I will be 3 weeks & since I have quit, I've been walking/jogging 2 miles everyday. Will I have a safe surgery? Also, will I pass the nicotine test required the morning of surgery. If I don't pass, they keep 50% of the money.

Doctor Answers (8)

Is 3 weeks long enough to pass a nicotine urine test & have a safe breast augmentation & 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 breast procedure 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 and at least 6 weeks after any surgical procedure. The longer, the better. Nicotine always increases the risk for infection, nipple necrosis, poor scarring, and wound complications, as well as other health consequences. The anesthesia risk is greater with general anesthesia as well as pulmonary issues/lung infections postoperatively. 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 11 reviews

Passing nicotine urine test for breast augmentation and lift


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 your board certified plastic surgeon. He obviously feels strongly about this issue. He has a good point, especially when doing a lift as there will be additional tension on the wound. Also best to quit smoking, (for a variety of other health reasons as well).

Jeffrey Roth, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

2-3 Weeks Without Nicotine Should be Enough


Very wise to check on this. As nicotine tends to constrict blood vessels, limiting the oxygen that is carried throughout the body and to surgical site, stopping this product before surgery is essential. Yes, 2-3 weeks without nicotine should be enough time to clear.

John W. Bass, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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Smoking definitely can have detrimental outcomes on surgery.  Your surgeon obviously feels very strongly about this issue.  The agreement you had is unusual but you did agree to it.  Be honest with your surgeon and he can decide if he wants to proceed with your surgery or not.

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 Hi LouLou,

Different surgeons have different criteria regarding smoking and not all breast lifts are perfomed similarly. For that reason, you're best off discussing this issue with your surgeon. If he thinks that you're at an unacceptably high risk of potentially devastating complication, he'll tell you. Perhaps his office would be willing to re-schedule the procedure at a later time; that way, everyone wins.

Hope this helps. All the best.

Sam Jejurikar, MD
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Smoking and breast lift and augmentation


Smoking can have a detrimental effect on healing after cosmetic surgery, notably in facelift and in tummy tuck procedures. Smoking risks are of minor significance for breast surgery and we do not use a urine smoking test or demand individuals stop, and we feel you should do well smoking or not. Of course not smoking is better but the urine test seems a bit punitive. The 50% failure fee is probably something you never should have agreed to.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
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Smoking and Breast lift


The best thing to do is to be honest with your surgeon, and the sooner you tell him or her, the better in terms of your potential finacial situation.  Remember, what the surgeon is trying to help YOU avoid is a devastating complication such as the permanent loss of one or both nipples.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
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I cannot tell you if you will pass the test. The determintal effects of smoking on your results is without question and my advice is to have an honest conversation with your surgeon. I'll bet this isn't the first time your surgeon has had this happen.

Jack Peterson, MD
Topeka Plastic Surgeon
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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.