Can I smoke now post op 3 weeks breast lift? (photo)

I know smoking is bad but I'm now post op 3 weeks and 3 days breast lift and augmentation.when am I out of the clear for necrosis thank you?

Doctor Answers 6

Smoking 3 weeks after breast lift, OK?

You quit smoking!  Don't go back.... Using tobacco products 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. A breast lift by definition places the wound on tension. Tension is also a risk factor for wounds. Please be honest with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Together you can make a plan. The amount of time to be nicotine free, (before and after the surgery), will depend on the procedure and the individual surgeon.


Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Smoking after breast lift

I usually recommend patients wait at least 4 weeks after a breast lift before they start smoking again. However, you should ask your surgeon for their advice since they may have different guidelines.

Can I smoke now 3 weeks postop breast lift?

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 a mastopexy 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 and at least 6 weeks after any surgical procedure. The longer, the better.  Nicotine always increases the risk for infection, nipple necrosis, and wound complications, as well as other health consequences. I would discuss this with your surgeon prior to your procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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Smoking after a mastopexy

You should have the permission of your surgeon so if anything bad happens, at least your surgeon was aware of your activities and it was done with your surgeon's approval. In my practice, if you have no problems at all (AT ALL) at 3 weeks post-op, smoking is tolerated but not encouraged and my patients do it at their risk should anything occur.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
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Smoking Post Op Breast Lift

If you are going to smoke, it is best to wait at least 6 weeks post op. Longer is better. Best wishes for a complete recovery!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Smoking and breast augmentation

It's not just necrosis to worry about with smoking, there is also an increase in infections, poor wound healing, poor scarring. It is obviously best to not to continue to smoke, however ask your plastic surgeon when he/she suggests you are okay to start back up.

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.