Is there anyway I can get a Tummy Tuck and breast lift/aug without quitting smoking completely? (photos)

I have been cutting back on cigarettes I got down to about 5 a day as opposed to a whole pack daily. Ive been smoking off and on for about 10 years with the exception of when I was pregnant with my 4 kids. Ive ask for help with prescription medications but it seems some surgeons are skeptical of that. Im heading to L.A. soon and would love to look good when I go, Any suggestions?????? Helppppp I really need to get rid of this mess.

Doctor Answers 19

Smoking and Tummy Tuck, Breast Lift with Augmentation

Smoking 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 patient 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 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


Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Stop smoking for better results

It's always best to stop smoking totally before your surgery (at least 3-6 weeks before). It's good that you've cut down, but I suggest you ask your surgeon if that's enough for you. Generally speaking, smoking slows healing, which results in more noticeable scars. Smoking wouldn't interfere so much with a breast augmentation but can cause significant complications with a breast lift and tummy tuck.

 If you were able to quit smoking with your pregnancies, I am certain you can do the same for this.  Think of this surgery as a gift you are going to give to yourself and without quitting smoking you won't get the gift!  You may not want to start smoking afterwards but if the healing is going well you can start smoking a month after if you really have to !!  That can be another motivating reason to stop smoking if you know when you can start again!  I know; not great advice from a doctor!

Total cessation of smoking is strongly advise but not absolutely necessary prior to elective cosmetic surgery.

Many patients who smoke have surgery. Smoking increases the risk of complications in any operation including mommy makeover surgery. All plastic surgeons strongly recommend cessation of smoking two weeks or more prior to elective surgery. This is not an absolute requirement however provided you are willing to accept the increase risk.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Smoking during a mommy make-over

Thank you for your question about your mommy make-over.

  • Can you have the surgery? Yes.
  • Will you heal without a major complication....that is the question.
  • A single puff of a cigarette has been shown to cut down oxygen supply to body tissues.
  • Oxygen is needed to heal - less oxygen, more complications.
  • You will do yourself and your children a favor if you go cold turkey and never smoke again.
  • The best way to quit is to throw out every cigarette you own every hour of the day and fight the craving until you quit.
  • You will quit and start again but keep quitting.
  • This is more important right now than your mommy make-over.
  • Smoking of any kind is a terrible addiction and it takes hard work to over come it.
  • I smoked 4 packs a day - and I stopped. You can quit. Go for it!



Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

You should stop

The carbon monoxide and several other toxins in cigarettes irreversibly damage the blood supply to your skin. This significantly increases the risk of skin, nipple areolar loss as well as wound healing problems. If you want to lower this risk, stop smoking and wait at east 6 months before surgery. If you are a long time smoker no matter when you stop, you will always ave a higher risk.

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Quit smoking

You should avoid all produces containing nicotine. Inform your surgeon on your nicotine use so you can advise you on his pre-operative requirements. Best wishes, Dean Vistnes.

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Straight Answers

Nicotine is an intense cutaneous vasoconstrictor. The problem with smoking and plastic surgical procedures like breast lift and tummy tuck is that the nicotine and carbon monoxide create significant vascular compromise to the healing skin.  This compromise can result in skin necrosis that develop into large wounds and require months to heal.  You would be unhappy if this happens.

It's biology.  It's absolute.  The fact that you cut down your tobacco usage is laudable but because you are still dosing yourself with nicotine cutting down is insufficient to avoid these complications.

My patients must have a negative urine nicotine two weeks prior to surgery and the day of surgery or their surgery is cancelled.  One puff of one cigarette and even 2nd hand smoke will render a positive urine nicotine for two weeks.

The use of an E-cigs without nicotine is acceptable for purposes of surgery although I do not know what health risks are associated with vaping.  This response is to protect the results of your operation and is not any kind of judgment on tobacco users.  So don't take it personally.

I hope this helps.  

Smoking and surgery

It is great you have cut back and you have a relative short history of smoking, but I would agree with the answers already given, you really should stop before having this kind of surgery.  The risks are much higher and not worth taking.  Stop several weeks before surgery and no e cigarettes and no nicotene patches or gum.   Chantix may help and you can get that from your primary care doctor.  Discuss the cessation of smoking with your board certified plastic surgeon.  You can do it!

Paul Watterson, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Just because you can doesn't mean it is a good idea

You may be able to find someone who is willing to do surgery without quitting smoking but it is not likely a wise idea.  Smoking makes blood vessels tighten up for up to 6 hrs after each cigarette and if your blood vessels tighten up you are reducing blood flow to the area and increasing the chances of infection or even worse tissue loss.  The the chances of complications if you are smoking go up by 300% if you are smoking according to some studies.  Therefore, do yourself a favor and quit before you consider doing surgery.  You are going to invest a lot of time and money in the procedure. you should do everything you can to give yourself the best chance at a great outcome.

Jonathan Amspacher, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Mommy Makeover

It is my pleasure to answer your question. I recommend quit smoking at least one month before surgery. Because smoke have many complications during surgery and in the post op period.

Aramis Vega, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.