Smoking 3 cigarettes 11 days before my BA?

I quit smoking a month ago as directed by my doctor. Yesterday, i had a moment of weakness and had 3 cigarettes. My surgery is Nov 30th (11days away ) how bad will this affect my surgery? Will drinking lots of water, exercising and hot showers help remove the nicotine from my body?

Doctor Answers 12

Smoking and surgery

Most experts unanimously agree that smoking increases the rate of  breast augmentation surgical complications significantly. Just about all plastic surgeons strongly recommend  women  to stop smoking and all nicotine products well in advance of breast augmentation with breast implants.  Many plastic surgeons recommend stopping all tobacco products several months prior to surgery.

Here is the reason why: the nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products (including Nicorette gum, patches, etc) is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it makes the Smoking is a significant multiplier of many potential complications following surgery and breast augmentation with implants are no exception. Nicotine from smoking causes blood vessels to vasoconstrict ( tighten up). Over time, these constricted arteries and capillaries deliver less blood to the breast tissue which is needed for normal healing. Smokers therefore have an increased incidence of higher likelihood of complications such as infection, and in particular capsular contracture (hardening and distortion of the implants). General complications of surgery such as blood clots, anesthetic problems such as pneumonia are also increased. 

A scientific article in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicated that, among all forms of surgery, quitting smoking eight weeks prior was never associated with an increased risk of complications.

In young patients you will probably statistically avoid these complications, why tempt fate by increasing your odds that something bad will happen.On a long term basis, smoking also causes accelerated aging of the skin and loss of elasticity. Hopefully these reasons will help give you the will power and courage to stop smoking.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Smoking 3 cigarettes 11 dys pre BBA?

Don't worry at this point. However, it is recommended to quit 6 weeks before surgery and 6 weeks after to eliminate all risk of nicotine on healing. The carbon monoxide effects have long since past. However, excessive scar formation can persist into the 10th day post smoking. This will also be less of an issue as your surgical wound will be well healed and unlikely to scar excessively at the point that it really matters. Try not to smoke for 6 weeks post op though.

Ken Dolynchuk, MD
Manitoba Plastic Surgeon

Smoking Before Surgery


Your Plastic Surgeon may decide to precede if you have a straight-forward BBA with IMF incision planned and are otherwise healthy, however smoking, as you know, can cause delays in healing. You should let your surgeon know.

All the best  

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Smoking 11 days before surgery

Thank you for your question.

In my practice, I ask my patients to stop smoking at least 4 weeks prior to surgery. Please be honest with your chosen plastic surgeon about your recent smoking and they will ultimately decide what would be best for your procedure. Best of luck to you!

Fred Hackney, MD (retired)
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews


For a BA smoking is not too much of an issue, but for a breast lift it's a huge issue and your surgery needs to be delayed.

Max Gouverne, MD
Corpus Christi Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Nicotine and surgery

Thanks for your inquiry.  I suggest you let your plastic surgeon to know.  Ultimately it is his/her call to be concerned or not.  Good Luck.  

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

Smoking before BA?

Quitting smoking can be incredibly difficult. While just a few cigarettes does not seem like a lot, you have saved, sacrificed, and scheduled for your surgery. You really want to get everything set up for success. If I was your surgeon, I would rather have you tell me about the smoking before the procedure, rather than after it. The risks of wound infection, skin loss, and capsular contracture are not worth the inconvenience of changing your surgery date.

Jon Ver Halen, MD
Southlake Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Smoking before surgery

Your scheduled surgery a completely elective operation. Smoking 11 days before surgery increase your risks of devastating complications. While those risks are still low, I recommend you reschedule. You are spending a lot of hard earned money, taking time off from work/family/friends, and going through some pain and discomfort - why not do everything you can to make the result as perfect as possible?

Armin Moshyedi, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Smoking prior to a breast augmentation surgery

I consider smoking a "heart attack for the skin". Healing of your incisions and surgical space can be delayed or comprimised. It is always best to discontinue smoking prior to any surgical procedure. In addition. you are doing something positive and good for yourself, so why not stay away from smoking permanently? That being said, smoking is more of an issue if you were also to have a breast lift in addition to just implants. There is more risk to the tissues and nipples. 

Gustavo E. Galante, MD
Schererville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Smoking is a problem.

Smoking tobacco is a problem because it is hard to quit and increases the risk of complications, especially wound healing problems and infection. It is best to not smoke and follow your doctors instructions to lower your risks. Smoking much later after the surgery is bad too because it generates toxins and free radicals that will damage your skin and cause your breast to sag faster. Best, Dr. ALDO 

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 201 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.