Cigarette smoking before BA - I was wondering if anyone actually smoked through until their surgery.

I just recently found out about the dangers of smoking (for healing) leading to high chances of capsular contracture and my surgery is the 28th. Super worried now! (Please don't tell me the general dangers of smoking or that I need to stop now) I have stopped since yesterday and just was wondering if anyone did not stop or smoked as closely To their surgery date as I did. TIA!!

Doctor Answers 7


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
I recommend cessation of smoking for 2 weeks prior to surgery.  I recommend an in-office examination as well as a detailed discussion with a board-certified Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Best wishes!
Dr. Desai
Harvard Educated, Beverly Hills & Miami Beach Trained, Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Smoking and surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Smoking impacts wound healing and some studies report that complication rates can increase by a significant amount.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast augmentation and smoking

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thanks for your question.  There is no right or wrong answer.  It is great that you stopped smoking and hopefully will continue.  Smoking is associated with increased as you already know.  If you have the surgery and everything comes out love lost.  If you are one of the few patients that end up with a capsular contraction, then you will always wonder if it was brought on by smoking and it would drive you crazy.  So you have a decision to make on your own.

If you feel you are going to question yourself later, then postpone your procedure.  If not, go for it.

Consult you Plastic Surgeon to address your fears.  Either way, best of luck with your upcoming surgery.

Douglas Taranow, DO, FACOS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Breast Augmentation - Smoking?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question. I require my patients to cease smoking four weeks prior to surgery and for at least four weeks following surgery. Smokers have higher complication rates due to decreased blood flow to the skin. This often results in wound healing problems and possible tissue necrosis. Please discuss with your board certified plastic surgeon.


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The negative effects of Nicotine on healing and complication risks are serious. In my practice, we recommend that patients stop smoking four weeks prior to their aesthetic surgery. This is particularly critical with respect to procedures that involve manipulating the blood flow to tissues: facelifts, tummy tucks breast lift and breast reduction. We feel so strongly about this that we recommend you do not proceed with the above surgeries if you can’t stop smoking for the recommended four weeks. It’s just not worth it. I recommend that you speak with your Plastic Surgeon about risks and help for quitting that they may be able to offer you.

All the best

Smoking and elective plastic surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
DON"T DO IT!!! The adverse effects of nicotine on the healing process following plastic surgery have been well described and known for years. Sure, you may find some people who were lucky enough to get through their surgery and recovery without any complications, but that's the lucky few. Exposure to nicotine ALWAYS effects the healing process adversely in some fashion or another. You're preparing to invest a significant amount of time and money in a procedure that you've chosen to have in an effort to improve your appearance. Don't risk wasting that investment.

In my practice, I don't offer elective procedures to anyone with nicotine exposure of any kind. The excepted time frame for nicotine cessation is 6 weeks prior to surgery. You're surgeon should have reviewed these risks with you and discussed timing of surgery with nicotine cessation. My recommendation would be to reach out to the office, explain that you're a smoker and wish to delay your procedure for 6 weeks. I know it may seem unthinkable to do so at this point, but poor healing, bad scarring, capsular contracture, loss of an areola from vascular compromise or total implant loss would be a far greater upset and expense than delaying your surgery a few weeks.

Best of luck to you. 

Jonathan R. Fugo, DO
Newburgh Plastic Surgeon

Smoking and surgery healing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
I am very experienced with this problem, and have published papers on it.  Smoking has several disadvantages before surgery.  First, as you mentioned, it delays wound healing, and can lead to bad scarring because the by-products of nicotine cause constriction of the little blood vessels at the wound edge that brng the healing proteins to the wound to effect healing.

I know of no evidence that smoking creates scar capsules, however bleeding post op from coughing, can c ause capsular contracture;\

My advice is to top smoking several weeks before surgery for both lung benefits post anesthesia,and to allow normal wound healing to progeress.

Paul Silverstein, MD (retired)
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon

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.