RealBuzz: Could Plastic Surgery Help Me Quit Smoking?

Will-Lee on 4 Jul 2009 at 3:05pm

Yes, some people still smoke cigarettes -- but plastic surgery just might be one way to help them dump the habit for good. In one of the livelier and most thought-provoking Q&As on RealSelf, our doctors help answer the question,

How do plastic surgeons feel about operating on patients who smoke?

RealSelf's MDs, like Bellevue, Washington's Dr. Richard P. Rand, say it's "imperative" prospective patients kick the habit "a month after and a month before" they go under the knife. Dr. Athleo Louis Cambre in L.A. explains that for facelifts, breast lifts and reductions, and tummy tucks, smoking causes "constriction of ... small blood vessels [under the skin] as well as reduced oxygen carrying capacity," which can have "catastrophic" effects because of the "diminished blood flow."

What's more, as Dr. Julius Few of Chicago explains, surgery can even help people cut out smoking for good, because they've got a motivation to quit. And Dr. Jennifer Walden of Manhattan works with her smoker patients to get help dropping the lung-snacks with holistic techniques like "psychotherapy, biofeedback, and meditation."

Have you quit smoking before surgery? And stayed off the sticks? Tell us about it.

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