Did smoking pre/post op hurt the healing process?

I just got a breast augmentation 5 days ago. I smoked up until the day of the surgery because my surgeon never told me otherwise. After surgery, he told me not to smoke for 2 weeks. I'm 24, and I've been smoking a pack a day for 10 years. I tried really hard not to smoke after surgery but I gave in and smoked one cigarette last night. This morning when I woke up my right breast hurt more then it did the day before! Do you think the one cig had something to do with it? I'm scared please help

Doctor Answers 4

Smoking before surgery

The risks and effects of smoking prior to and during recovery after plastic surgery are significant. Smoking — specifically nicotine and carbon monoxide — impedes the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to tissues. As a result, the healing process after plastic surgery is negatively affected. Healing after plastic surgery has a significant effect on the quality of your result. See the below link for more information.


Smoking significantly impairs wound healing and increase the rate of complications such as infection and bleeding . It is advisable to stop 2 weeks before at least and a full 2 weeks afterwards. The fact you are asking this question suggests you have been told it is not wise and can cause you issues - more complication and more costs . 

Smoking and cosmetic surgery

Your pain in right breast is probably not from smoking. Relax. One breast always hurt more than another after surgery (usually your dominant side because you use that side more and the muscle is generally thicker).With that said, smoking is never good for healing. However, this becomes more important with procedures such as breast lift, tummy tuck or face lift. Talk with your surgeon if your pain persists. Good luck. 

Mehdi K. Mazaheri, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Smoking cessastion

Thank you for your question.   In our practice we advise our patients to cease smoking and the use of any nicotine products for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery and to continue to avoid smoking or any nicotine products for a minimum of 4 weeks after surgery.  Smoking increases every risk of surgery including bleeding, bruising, infection and scar formation.

With kind regards,
Lane F. Smith, M.D., F.A.A.C.S., F.A.O.H.N.S., F.A.B.F.P.R.S.
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon

Lane Smith, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

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.