10 Day Post Op Breast Lift/small Reduction?

When is it completely safe to smoke again? ( not chain smoking) but just a few a month. Also today my incision scar seemed to bleed in one spot - but there is also a hard lump there. I am rather worried about this. Should I get this checked out? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 10

Smoking after Breast Lift

  It is absolutely essential that smoking does not occur within 6 weeks following breast lift.  A smoker's healing is already compromised, and it may take longer to heal.  The best thing to do is quit after the surgery.

Smoking and BA

Most experts unanimously agree that smoking increases the rate of breast augmentation surgical complications significantly. Just about all plastic surgeons strongly recommend women to stop smoking and all nicotine products well in advance of breast augmentation with breast implants. Many plastic surgeons recommend stopping all tobacco products several months prior to surgery.
Here is the reason why: the nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products (including Nicorette gum, patches, etc) is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it makes the Smoking is a significant multiplier of many potential complications following surgery and breast augmentation with implants are no exception. Nicotine from smoking causes blood vessels to vasoconstrict ( tighten up). Over time, these constricted arteries and capillaries deliver less blood to the breast tissue which is needed for normal healing. Smokers therefore have an increased incidence of higher likelihood of complications such as infection, and in particular capsular contracture (hardening and distortion of the implants). General complications of surgery such as blood clots, anesthetic problems such as pneumonia are also increased.
A scientific article in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicated that, among all forms of surgery, quitting smoking eight weeks prior was never associated with an increased risk of complications.
In young patients you will probably statistically avoid these complications, why tempt fate by increasing your odds that something bad will happen.On a long term basis, smoking also causes accelerated aging of the skin and loss of elasticity. Hopefully these reasons will help give you the will power and courage to stop smoking.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

10 days postop breast lift/small reduction.

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 mastopexy 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, and wound complications, as well as other health consequences. I would discuss this with your surgeon prior to your procedure.  I would get your lump looked at during your next exam. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

When is it safe to smoke again after a breast lift/reduction?

You should wait about 6 weeks after your surgery to start smoking again (if you are planning to continue smoking, that is).  Prior to this time, the effect of nicotine on the blood supply to your skin and your nipples may lead to skin/nipple loss, delayed healing, worse scars, etc.


Smoking In The Post Operative Period

Thank you for the question. The problem with smoking is that it will diminish the blood supply to the surgical area. This can manifest as wound healing problems, wound infections or even tissue loss. These problems may require more surgery and may permanently alter your final results. If you feel compelled to begin smoking in the post operative period I would to wait till 4 to 6 weeks. The longer you can refrain from smoking the better for your recovery and results.

You should follow up with your plastic surgeon so that he may examine the lump and area of bleeding in your incision. Good luck.

Don't resume smoking this close to surgery completion.

10 days after surgery, your tissues are still in the early phases of healing and the scars are still gaining strength.  Smoking now (even a small amount ) can rob your tissues of the needed blood supply to heal properly.  So you should not resume smoking until at least 4 weeks after surgery or you risk increased complications.  You should follow up with your plastic surgeon and have the small lump and area of bleeding along the stitch line checked out.

Cosmetic surgery and smoking

Smoking is never safe!  Smoking decreases the blood supply in the skin due to a process called vasoconstriction.  It can be very detrimental to the healing process especially after a surgery such as a breast lift where the blood supply to the skin is now more limited than preoperatively.  If you do return to smoking, which I highly suggest that you don't, you should wait a minimum of 4 weeks after surgery.  Also, please have the hard lump area checked out by your surgeon.

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Smoking and breast lift

You should avoid smoking for at least 3-4 weeks after surgery so that the tissues can heal. It really is best to avoid smoking completely.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Smoking after Breast Lift?

Sorry to preach but smoking is never “safe”. With concerns such as “hard lump” you should follow-up with your plastic surgeon for direct examination.

Best wishes.

When is it completely safe to smoke again--don't even think about smoking

Well it is never completely safe to smoke. 

As far as the risks to your surgery, I would say 6 weeks. The lift itself decreases the blood supply to the lifted breast skin by dividing many small blood vessels that nourish the skin. Nicotine adds a further insult by narrowing the remaining blood vessels and further decreasing the blood flow to the point that some patients suffer skin loss or severe would healing problems any of which may result in more surgery needed!


Thanks and best wishes. Protect your result!!


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.