Did I Jeopardize the Final Result of my Rhinoplasty by Smoking and Drinking 3 Weeks Post Op?

The first 3 weeks after my rhinoplasty I took it easy. However, after the 3 weeks I was on vacation for a weekend with friends and had a few drinks and smoked as well. The next few days my nose looked significantly swollen and it was horrifying. I'm no longer partying after what it did to my nose. My question is that could I have damaged my nose internally somehow and would it effect my final result ? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 8

Post Rhinoplasty swelling after drinking and smoking

 Drinking and swelling may delay wound healing however will not affect your over all result at this time. Moderate alcohol intake is fine three weeks post Rhinoplasty however smoking will cause a delay in healing. Keep sleeping elevated, watch your exposure to excessive heat and salty foods and your swelling should start to dissipate. Best regards!

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Alcohol and Tobacco Use After Rhinoplasty

Moderate alcohol consumption after an operation such as Rhinoplasty carries the risk of increased swelling in the area, resulting in a longer healing time but not any significant damage unless you have trauma to the area as a result. Smoking significantly decreases healing potential due to the decrease in peripheral blood flow to the area, but again it will not cause significant damage.  You may have slowed your healing process, but you have not done serious damage if this was an infrequent activity.

Jaime Perez, MD

Rhinoplasty Specialist

Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa


Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Smoke & Drink

Just to be on the safe side.........don't smoke or use alcohol for six weeks after your rhinoplasty surgery for best healing results.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Smoking and surgery

Three weeks after surgery is probably fine to smoke, although it is of course not healthy.Here are the major points of smoking Tobacco or Marijuana before or after surgery:1. There is nicotine in tobacco, but not in marijuana. However, most joints are rolled with marijuana and tobacco combination. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that decreases blood flow to the tissues. This is the major problems that can cause a very bad outcome in some surgeries. In a breast augmentation, there is not a lot of risk as there are not a lot of incisions which decrease blood flow to the tissues. In a breast lift or tummy tuck, on the other hand, there is much longer and more involved incisions. The decrease in blood flow to the tissues in combination with the decrease in blood flow from the nicotine can cause tissue to die. This can cause part of the breast or nipple, or in the case of a tummy tuck, part of the belly tissue to die, resulting in a very bad outcome. This is especially bad in breast reductions or face lifts. In a rhinoplasty the tip of the nose and the columella, the area between the tip and the lip, is at risk. Your skin and tissue can turn black and fall off if this happens. In fat transfer, the constricted blood flow can cause the fat to not get a blood supply and die. Marijuana without tobacco does not cause this problem, or marijuana in an edible fashion. Vaporizers do not decrease the amount of nicotine in tobacco, only decrease the smoke. Hookah also does not decrease nicotine.
2. There is carbon monoxide in both tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke. Carbon monoxide decreases the oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin in the blood. This is different from the vasoconstrictor effect, but has the same result of having the risk of tissue death in conjunction with surgeries that decrease the blood flow to tissues such as breast lifts and tummy tucks, as opposed to an augmentation alone that does not decrease blood flow to as great of an extent. Again, edible forms of marijuana do not have smoke, and thus carbon monoxide poisoning.
3. Coughing. Both tobacco and marijuana smoke disrupt the lining of the lungs and bronchi and can lead to coughing episodes. Coughing episodes can lead to internal bleeding after surgery that can lead to hematomas and complications, and again a bad outcome. Again, edible forms of marijuana does not have this effect.
4. Anesthesia effects. Marijuana can have drug interactions with certain anesthetic drugs. Thus it is important to tell your anesthesiologist about your marijuana use.
In conclusion, Smoking, whether it be tobacco or marijuana, is detrimental to your surgery outcome. Edible marijuana is much less so, but be honest about your use with your surgeon and anesthesiologist so that you can have the best outcome. In general, you should quite smoking many weeks, ideally 6 weeks before surgery, and not smoke for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Did I Jeopardize the Final Result of my Rhinoplasty by Smoking and Drinking 3 Weeks Post Op?

You seemed to answer your own question to a degree noting that the increased swelling came after the drinking and any swelling you get in the nose after a rhinoplasty is slow to resolve.  Best to avoid the risk at this time.  Smoking inhibits wound healing and can be a significant factor for the rhinoplasty result, but also is a general health risk.

For more information, please go to my website at:

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Smoking And Drinking After Rhinoplasty


It appears that smoking and drinking increase your swelling; which will slow down your recovery process if not treated/stopped.

I recommend that you wait till you reach the 2 months mark before you resume the moderate drinking.

As for smoking that I am sure you are aware of all it as a serious health hazard, it would be at your best interest to have it stopped especially that it contributes to vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels) hence impeding your recovery.


Thank you for your question.

Best of wishes.

Dr. Sajjadian



Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Drinking and smoking after rhinoplasty

Three weeks after surgery you will not harm the ultimate result. However, healing maybe delayed. Obviously you are aware that excessive tobacco and alcohol are unhealthy in general.

Andrew Pichler, MD
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Did I Jeopardize the Final Result of my Rhinoplasty by Smoking and Drinking 3 Weeks Post Op?

 Not sure if it did any harm but certainly it didn't help the nose heal after your Rhinoplasty.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 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.