I am due for my breast augmentation and uplift in exactly 30 days. Is this enough time to reduce complications from smoking?
Hello! Thank you for your question! The issue with nicotine is that it also acts as a vasoconstrictor, clamping down of blood vessels. Blood supply is always of great concern during any surgical procedure, but especially in such a procedure as breast surgery where the viability of the nipple-areolar complex is obviously important. Since the vascularity to the area is already tenuous since it will be raised by cutting around the area, maximizing blood flow to the tissue is critical.
Typically, we recommend at least 6 weeks of smoking cessation prior to any surgical procedure. Nicotine always increases the risk for infection and wound complications, as well as other health consequences. You will likely do fine, but I would discuss this with your surgeon prior to your procedure to ensure s/he is comfortable with this. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!
I work in a tobacco state and some of my patients are unable to quit smoking. Most do just fine. I do encourage them to quit smoking for at least 4 weeks.
The caveat is that when there is a problem with wound healing, (very rare) it is usually in smokers.
Nana Mizuguchi, MD
Thank you for your honest question. I would let your surgeon know, and see what he/she says. I would suggest that you wait 2 months total. It depends on how much you were smoking before, and what procedure you have planned. Tummy tuck and breast lift are some of the most sensitive surgeries for smoking. Circulation to the incision edges is diminished with the surgery, and smoking makes that more drastic. That leads to the lack of oxygen at the skin level which is required for wound healing. Best wishes on your procedure.
It is never too late to quit smoking for your overall health! The effects of nicotine can linger for a while so you should check with your board certified plastic surgeon to see what their policy on smoking is. Good luck, MMT