Smoking before tummy tuck?

I am having a tummy tuck in 1 month but smoked cigarettes this past weekend(@4). Will being smoke free for 1 month be OK to proceed with the surgery?

Doctor Answers 22

Smoking and Tummy Tuck

Smoking increases your chances of complications and poor healing, especially after operations like tummy tuck. Talk with your surgeon about his policy on quitting before and after surgery.

As all the other doctors have indicated, it is important to quit before suregry and remain off all forms of nicotine after surgery too.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

Smoking before a tunny tuck

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 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

Smoking before tummy tuck?

Smoking can effect your healing especially for procedures like a tummy tuck or a breast reduction.  I ask for no smoking or or use of nicotine products for 1 month before and 1 month after your surgery or permanently if you can quit.  ac

Angela Champion, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Smoking before tummy tuck or any surgery

If you stop smoking one month before surgery and continue to stop smoking during your recovery, you should increase your chances for healing. I require my patients to stop smoking before surgery, and the longer you do not smoke, the better your healing process will be. I wish you luck with your upcoming surgery and recovery!

Mark E. Mason, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Smoking before tummy tuck

Smoking and surgery are a bad combination. Smoking will not only increase your risk from anesthesia, but your wound healing can be affected as well.  Studies of shown that even a two-week cessation of smoking prior to surgery can demonstrate some clinical improvement  compared to patients who are active smokers. Obviously the longer the timeframe from smoking cessation to surgery, the better it will be.  There are some procedures such as tummy tucks or a breast reductions, that are even more susceptible to the negative effects of smoking.  I typically make my patients stop smoking for six weeks prior to their surgery.  Please understand also that a little bit of smoking is sort of like being a little bit pregnant.  You have to completely stop to be considered a non-smoker during that period.  Every physician has different protocols regarding smoking cessation, and you should ask your surgeon what their criteria are.  

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

Smoking and abdominoplasty

Four weeks without nicotine is generally the requirement for most plastic surgeons, but this does change from surgeon to surgeon. Some doctors may be happy with less, others would ask for six weeks, a few would not operate on smokers altogether.
It is extremely important that you discuss this with the surgeon that will perform your operation, and that you are open and honest about your use of nicotine during the restricted period, before and after the procedure.

Ciro Adamo, PhD, MD
Italy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


Smoking is extremely risky with tummy tuck! The biggest risk is to yourself. I typically advise my patients absolutely no to nicotine for at least six weeks but there are studies that show it takes at least 3 to 6 months to heal as well as someone who doesn't smoke. It really is in your best interest to stop smoking!

good luck!

Mark T. Boschert, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Smoking before tummy tuck?

Ultimately, the plastic surgeon will have his/her thoughts on whether or not it is safe to proceed.   Generally speaking, patients considering coming to service should avoid nicotine nicotine in all its "modalities' of delivery  for the period of time specified by their plastic surgeon. 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 wishes.

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

Confess to your surgeon

It does not matter what we at Real Self feel. It only matters what your surgeon feels about your smoking.  Ask him/her since he/she will bear responsibility for your well being during and after your surgery.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Smoking and Surgery

You should be okay but I will tell you I am as strict as anyone can be with my patients. No nicotine products 6 weeks prior or after surgery and they have to subject to a nicotine test the day before. If positive no surgery. The potential complications especially with tummy tucks are devastating. So you should check with your surgeon and see what the rules are. I have a no tolerance policy and it is for the patients benefit and to provide the best outcome possible. 

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 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.