I'm scheduled for a TT next week & have only been quit smoking for a week. I didn't smoke a lot in the past month. Is it risky?

Doctor Answers 13

It Depends

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Exactly what type of tummy tuck are you having? 

I will do simple, small excision mini abdominoplasties on light smokers or patients that have recently quit.  For full skin excision abdominoplasties I ask the patients to stop smoking and not be around second hand smoke to 2 - 3 months.  The nicotine and all of the other chemicals in cigarette smoke can be very vaso-constrictive and can lead to healing problems in large skin flap operations like abdominoplasties and face lifts.

Have a discussion with you plastic surgeon, understand you planned operation and your related risks.

Gordon Telepun, MD
Decatur, AL

Smoking and tummy tucks

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Using tobacco brings a significant risk of cancer, stroke, heat attack, etc. From a Plastic Surgery standpoint it is a vasoconstrictor. Wound healing is all about getting oxygen and needed entities to the wound. It is well known that patients who smoke have a tremendous increase in their rate of serious complications, (infections, wounds falling apart, etc.). Nicotine is the main vasoconstrictor, so getting a patch or lozenge of nicotine won't help the vasoconstriction. Best to be off the tobacco/nicotine entirely before surgery. Please be honest with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Together you can make a plan to quit and proceed with surgery. The amount of time between quitting and surgery will depend on the Plastic Surgeon and the procedure.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

I'm scheduled for a TT next week & have only been quit smoking for a week.

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4 weeks without smoking before and after are my rules. I would suggest you post-pone the procedure because the potential skin necrosis and poor healing chances are higher, and this is an elective surgery.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Smoking Jeopardizes Surgery Healing

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Typically patients are asked to quit smoking at least 6 weeks previous to surgery and for two months after surgery. You run the risk of tissue necrosis and prolonged healing if you continue to smoke after surgery. Keep up the good work of quitting your smoking. I advise you to stop smoking altogether for your overall general health. In addition to the obvious health effects and healing problems, smoking dulls your skin and makes you appear older than you are! All of your efforts to regain a more youthful look with a tummy tuck would be decreased with continued smoking. Good luck with your upcoming surgery.


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Very big mistake to have a tummy tuck one week after you quit smoking.  You risk wound healing issues, fat necrosis, skin dying and much more.  Absolutely no cigarettes for at least 1 month prior to elective surgery- 2 months would be even better.  I know you probably didn't want to hear this as the answer, but you asked for a reason- you probably knew this was best.


Smoking and surgery, some advices:

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Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. 
In my practice I recommend to stop smoking at least 1 month after surgery and continues without smoking for at least 2 months later. 
Kind regards, 
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 367 reviews

Smoking and tummy tucks

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I usually advise that patients stop smoking at least 4-6 weeks pre-operatively for this sort of surgery. My advice is to inform your surgeon honestly and discuss the best way forward. Smoking interferes with the circulation in the tummy tuck flap and significant wound problems can sometimes result. Coughing post operatively is another problem, as is the greater risk of VTE in smokers...

I'm scheduled for a TT next week & have only been quit smoking for a week. Is it risky?

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Thank you for your question.  In general patients that are consistently exposed to smoke, either first hand or second hand, have an increased risk of wound healing complications.  Some recent smokers will do well and not suffer any complications with surgery, but some will.  These complications tend to involve wound-healing issues along the incision line, as a tummy tuck alters the blood supply to the abdominal skin. I would definitely inform your plastic surgeon, they can best advise you.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Smoking & surgery

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I ask my patients to quite smoking for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery and even longer after surgery in order to reduce their risks of complications. If you haven't been off the cigarettes for the two weeks, consult with your surgeon. 
My best,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Smoking

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If you quit a week ago and have one more week until surgery, it sounds like you are at the minimum amount of time to have quit. Best to check with your surgeon, for my patients I require that they stop smoking two weeks before and two weeks after surgery minimum, otherwise healing may be compromised. Good luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 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.