A dr told me he has to make an incision and then six weeks later do the actual tummy tuck all because I smoke

I smoke in progress of quitting I told the doctor I wanted to get the procedure done eight months from now. I am down to three cigarettes a day by then I should be done smoking I don't see why he would need to do an incision and then to the tummy tuck I just wanted to know if that's correct information thank you please help

Doctor Answers 5

Tummy Tucks+Nicotine=♠️Danger

Nicotine use in ANY form (smoker or second hand smoke, patch, gum etc) causes multiple health issues including severe long lasting spasm of blood vessels. In the skin this means a very poor blood supply which may result in tissue death and wound separation resulting in a very ugly scar when it finally heals. Many experienced Plastic surgeons gladly forego the money a Tummy Tuck, Facelift or a Breast Lift may bring knowing the potential healing disasters operating on these people may be associated with. Most of us also mandate you be nicotine free for several weeks before and after the surgery to reduce these risks and may even check your blood or urine before surgery to verify that indeed you have not consumed nicotine. 
When we try to maximize blood flow in a questionable area, we perform the procedure in two steps: first we perform a deep cut through the skin along the lower edge of where we are operating and we stitch the edges together without lifting the tissues much. This removes blood flow from below and forces narrowed vessels to open up more. This essentially creates better flow in vulnerable areas before the big operation and is done in many reconstructive operations   Please note that this does not mean that it would spare you a serious complication if you continue nicotine consumption. It just reduces the risk of it. For best results I would advise you to get in as much nicotine free time before your tummy tuck 
Dr. Peter A Aldea
Memphis, TN

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

A dr told me he has to make an incision and then six weeks later do the actual tummy tuck all because I smoke

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your upcoming surgery.  Because of your smoking history your physician is attempting to make the blood supply to your abdominal skin more resilient by removing a portion of it in anticipation of your tummy tuck in a process termed "delay."  By removing a portion of the blood supply along your lower abdomen it is thought to increase the blood flow coming from your ribcage downward.  This previously was done routinely for women receiving a breast reconstruction procedure.  You may want to ask for greater details from your surgeon as to your medical history and other risks to see if this is necessary.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

An incision then tummy tuck 6 weeks later

Thank you for the question.   Because smoking causes increased risk of skin necrosis during tummy tucks, your surgeon has suggested a "delay procedure."   The delay phenomenon refers to cutting a portion of the blood supply to the skin in order to augment blood flow from other areas - via choke vessels - in attempts to decrease the potential for skin loss and facilitate wound healing. 

Joseph Franklin, MD
Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

A dr told me he has to make an incision and then six weeks later do the actual tummy tuck all because I smoke

The PS is being VERY conservative by doing a technique of primary incision of the inferior epigastric arteries on each side using a small incision. This teaches the abdominal flap to obtain blood flow (oxygen) from the superior epigastric arterial system, the abdominal flap survival is 95% assured. Best to seek more in person opinions from boarded PSs in SOUTH FL.

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

A dr told me he has to make an incision and then six weeks later do the actual tummy tuck all because I smoke

Hi. No doubt smokers have a higher degree of healing issues than those who don't. That being said, I have never "delayed" ( the term used to describe what your surgeon has suggested) and abdominal flap prior to a tummy tuck in over 30 years of private practice. Your surgeon is being very cautious and he/she feels that by doing this it will reduce your chances of having poor healing issues. Good luck, Dr. PG

Jose Perez-Gurri, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 233 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.