I was a smoker for years. I recently quit. How long should I wait to get a tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 18

Quit smoking

In Atlanta, the nicotine will be out of your bloodstream within 6 weeks. Also, don't forget about Second hand smoke exposure.

I hope that this helps.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Smoker who quit. How long to wait for the tummy tuck?

Using tobacco products 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 16 reviews

Smoking and surgery

How long ago did you recently quit? To be on the safe side, you should not have smoked for at least 4 to 6 weeks before a tummy tuck. This is to minimize your risk of developing complications.

Smoking cessation before Surgery

Generallly a 4 -6 week period of time before an abdominoplasty should be adequate to help reduce your risks.  Additionally a 4 week period after the surgery refraining from cigarettes is almost as important.

Quitting smoking before a tummy tuck?

To substantially reduce the risk of complications you need to cease smoking for four weeks before and about six weeks after.  I'd strongly recommend that you consider this an opportunity to permanently stop.  That could be the most beneficial thing for your health and accomplish far more for your welfare than even the tummy tuck!  Please remember "no cheating."  

Good luck and enjoy your results.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

At least four weeks

Most surgeons will be comfortable with four week wait after a smoker has quit smoking.  Longer wait does help. Ex smokers have higher risks from surgeries even after wait periods.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Tummy tuck

Congratulations. 
To minimize wound healing issues after a tummy tuck, I would recommend zero cigarettes at least 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after surgery. 
Good luck. 

How long to quit smoking before surgery

Congratulations on quitting! The bare minimum time to quit smoking to avoid surgical complications related to nicotine after tummy tuck is about 2-3 weeks in my mind. Of course, this depends on how much you smoked (a few cigarettes a month is different than 2 packs a day). 

However, it may be best to wait up to several months if you have any breathing issues or a chronic cough. Any decrease in oxygen levels after surgery and any coughing can impact your result. Good luck. 

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

I was a smoker for years. I recently quit. How long should I wait to get a tummy tuck?

I typically recommend that patients be completely nicotine free for 4 weeks before and continue for 4 weeks after the procedure to diminish the risk of vasoconstriction and tissue necrosis. Nicotine free means no cigarettes and no nicotine containing gum, chewing tobacco or nicotine containing e-cigs or vapor.

I was a smoker for years. I recently quit. How long should I wait to get a tummy tuck?

Congratulations, we know how hard that is. Once you have gone at least 4 weeks with 0 cigarettes you should be OK to consider the TT procedure. It is even more important that you refrain from cigarettes totally in the postoperative period. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.