I Smoke Cigs. Can We Still Do Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

I had my right breast removed with 17 lymph nodes. in nov. 2010. I have been finished with all cancer treatments for six months I smoke cigs. and was told i couldnt have implants until I quit.

Doctor Answers 2

Adverse effect of cigarette smoking

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Smoking causes 2 damaging effects.  One is the vaso constriction from the nicotine, which clears rapidly.  The other is carbon monoxide poisoning of your hemoglobin.  These interfere with wound healing and puts you at a higher risk for dehiscence and possible infection but are not an absolute contra indication to surgery.  I certainly recommend you quit smoking.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Smoking and surgery is not a great cocktail

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Plastic surgeons as a rule don't operate on smokers for elective surgical procedure suich as a facelift, breast aug or tummy tuck.  I perform a number of surgeries for cancer patients and have been lenient in these situations.  That being said I don't perform implant based reconstruction on patients who smoke.  I would consider  a breast reconstruction using your own tissue.  This is my prefernce.  Many surgeons would not consider you at all.

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