Labiaplasty and smoking risks?

I am having a labiaplasty and partial vaginal rejuvenation (only going in a third of the way) in a week. My surgeon's paperwork advises to stop smoking a week prior to surgery. I have stopped starting today but after reading some risks associated with smokers and surgery I am beginning to get worried. Is this week enough time? What are my risks?

Doctor Answers 7

Labiaplasty: recovery process, risks and smokings

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The specific risks and suitability of these procedures for each individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.

Smoking increases risks for most surgeries. Stopping 4 weeks before is always best.
 Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare. These can include infection, bleeding, (hematoma) , separation of the incision, changes in sensation , pain, increased sensitivity, unsatisfactory cosmetic results

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Quit Smoking 4 Weeks Before Labiaplasty

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Smoking increases the risk of impaired wound healing and wound infection with any type of surgery. The largest studies show that quitting for at least 4 weeks reduces the risk of wound infection only, but not other wound healing problems. The effects of smoking on labiaplasty specifically have not been studied, but I would recommend a 4 week interval before surgery.

Smoking increases risks of surgery

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Your recovery can be compromised if you smoke, as wounds tend to heal more slowly and the risk of infection is higher. I suggest you ask your surgeon about their advice as I generally advise patients stop for at least 4 weeks prior to their surgery.

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Labiaplasty surgery in Los Angeles

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Wound healing is impaired with smoking. Speak to your surgeon to discuss whether the surgery should be postponed until about 2 to 3 weeks after smoking cessation. In our office, we suggest that patients optimize their health before surgery. 

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Labiaplasty & Smoking

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Thank you for your question!I tell all of my surgery patients to stop smoking at least two to four weeks before surgery, and to avoid smoking indefinitely but wait at least four weeks after surgery if they decide to resume.This equates to at least 6 weeks without smoking.Smoking can severely affect the body’s healing capability.Smoking close to your time of surgery can lessen the oxygen supply to your heart, increase the risk of blood clots, increase your risk of infection, and reduce the effectiveness of certain drugs your doctor may prescribe to you.

Jimmy S. Firouz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Risks of smoking

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vary with what is done but the smoke diminishes the oxygen to the tissues needed to heal and the nicotine will constrict vessels further diminishing blood flow to the healing site.  In well vascularized tissues such as the labia, it is not anticipated to be a serious problem but when you can maximize your potential for healing, you should do that.  From my standpoint, I am more worried about the coughing that can happen after and the increased risks for bleeding that may require more surgery to correct or result in a large hematoma that delays healing.   So stopping smoking prior to surgery is always a good thing.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Smoking risk for vaginoplasty and labiaplasty

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It is very important that you contact your surgeon advise the doctor that you have continued smoking up to 1 week before your procedure.

Generally speaking it takes about 5 weeks for the effects of nicotine in your blood to disappear after stopping smoking.

Smoking interferes with the blood supply to your tissues and can create difficulties with wound healing.

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.