Quit smoking, started again, TT a bad idea?

I will be discussing this with my surgeon next week, but thought I'd ask here as well. I quit smoking for 11 weeks and then smoked for 2 weeks (yes, bad idea, I know). TT is scheduled for 19 days from the most recent quit date. Was that 2 weeks enough time to reverse all of the circulatory improvement that had occurred?

Doctor Answers 11

Smoking and cosmetic surgery

A lifetime will not reverse the circulatory damage you have already done with smoking. However, in the current situation, you need to quit for at least 4-6 weeks prior to surgery and stay quit for at least a couple months after surgery to have a chance at a decent result. This is definitely something you need to discuss with your surgeon.

Rochester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Quit smoking, then started again. What about a tummy tuck?

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


Personally I would postpone and give up for 6 weeks before. Occasionally I will operate at 4 weeks but 2 weeks is probably not enough time. You need to discuss the pros and cons with your surgeon

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Quit smoking, started again, TT a bad idea?

Avoid nicotine nicotine in all its "modalities' of delivery 6 weeks prior to surgery. It is a powerful constrictor of blood vessels, decreasing blood flow to the “flaps” used during these procedures. This decreased blood flow could potentially lead to wound healing problems and/or tissue necrosis. Best advice: avoid nicotine completely or postpone surgery.
Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Yup, bad idea

It is truly a bad idea to have a tummy tuck so soon with your history of smoking. Routinely we require a smoke-free period of approximately 4-6 weeks for elective surgery. Be careful. 

Dr. Burnett

Carlos Burnett, MD, FACS
Westfield Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Smoking before tummy tuck

Smoking is not a good idea before or after surgery, as you certainly know!  I would be considered about smoking within the two week window, particularly depending on the number of  cigarettes involved.  Ideally, you should start a smoking cessation program and maintain this for six weeks before surgery but it would be best for you to discuss the consequences with your plastic surgeon.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Quit smoking before tummy tuck

This is a very serious issue, smoke from smoking has carbon monoxide which competitively binds to your hemoglobin and prevents oxygen delivery to your tissues. Loss of belly button, loss of skin, fat necrosis and loss of flap is higher in smokers. It takes two weeks to make enough new red blood cells that can deliver Oxygen. Even one cigarette or exposure to a smoke filled room can compromise your blood cells ability to provide oxygen on the needed small vessel level. This is a great opportunity for you to quit for good. Nicotine gum or patches can be used, nicotine causes vasoconstriction for 30 minutes but is converted to cotinine a vasodilator that lasts 4 to 6 hours in the blood stream.  Good luck....

Larry Weinstein, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy tuck and smoking

Thank you for your question. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a bad idea if you are smoking. The healing process after a tummy relies on the blood supply in the area to heal your incision. Smoking interferes with these blood vessels and can compromise the wound healing process leaving you with open wounds. You must quit at least 6 weeks prior to surgery as well as 6 weeks post-operatively. Best of luck.

Jennifer Capla, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Smoking and tummy tuck

Smoking greatly increases the risk of complications with a tummy tuck.  A little bit of smoking prior to the procedure is sort of like being a little pregnant in my opinion.   I typically make my patients wait six weeks after they stop smoking before I will do their surgery.  

Erik Miles, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy Tuck Smoking

Thank you for your question. If you were my patient I would not do a tummy tuck on you. I require my patients to refrain from smoking for 6 weeks before and after their surgery. It is not worth the risk and headache of the potential complications due to smoking. Talk to your surgeon. Good luck.

Sanjiv Kayastha, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 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.