Must stop smoking and drinking?

Hi, Am 47 yrs old weight 160 lbs, I smoke max 5 sticks a day, drink a bottle of red wine over week, going for mummy make over, what are the cons? For not stoping before operation? Am finding difficult to stop

Doctor Answers 12

It’s highly recommended that you cease smoking at least 45-days before and after surgery.

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Smoking has been shown to cause an increase in the likelihood of surgical complications, and it can also negatively affect your recovery, which can hinder the quality of your results. I advise my patients to quit smoking at least 45 days before a mommy makeover and avoid smoking for at least 45 days after to ensure optimum safety and results. If you're struggling to quit, definitely bring this issue up with your plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Quitting Drinking and Smoking Pre-Op

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As far as our office is concerned we like to recommend quitting prior to surgery, but considering the specific requests of your own surgeon he would likely be the best to answer this question for you. Since all of the combination of procedures can be different you should likely confirm with your surgeon what he asks you to do. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Must you stop smoking and drinking?

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As far as drinking is concerned, I like my patients to stop at least 3 days prior to surgery as alcohol thins your blood.  Regarding smoking, my patients must quit at least 4 weeks prior to a tummy tuck - no if's, and's or but's. Also, I ask them to stay off for 4 weeks following surgery as well. By continuing to smoke, you are putting yourself at higher risk for complication, wound healing issues, etc.  Please quit before having this surgery, and make sure you tell your plastic surgeon if you have not quit.  Best of luck.

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Must I stop smoking and drinking for mommy make-over?

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You absolutely must stop smoking to have these procedures. Please let your surgeon know that you are having a difficult time with smoking cessation and discuss options, such as Chantix. The risks are far too high to have nicotine in your system. This includes all forms of nicotine, not just cigarettes. As others have adamantly pointed out, the complications could be significant and definitely not worth it. I would also recommend not drinking peri-operatively, but the smoking is a deal breaker. Please do not have the surgery if you cannot quite smoking. I realize that it is easier said than done, so good luck!

Dustin L. Reid, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Mommy make-over - can I keep smoking and drinking?

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Thank you for asking about your mommy make-over.

  • If you do not stop smoking, you put yourself at very high risk of serious complications and/or a poor result.
  • Even one puff of a cigarette will change your circulation - 5 a day is a LOT.
  • Please contact your surgeon to discuss your difficulties - Chantix may help you stop temporarily.
  • Often it helps to stop drinking as well - since smoking and drinking are often done together.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Effects of smoking and drinking

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Smoking and drinking can increase your chances of complications not only in the recovery process but during the procedure as well.  Nicotine can reduce blood supply to tissues that are trying to heal.  This could result in loss of tissue and infections that won't heal.  You must stop ingestion of nicotine of any form- cigarettes, patches, gum, etc- prior to your surgery and remain nicotine free during your recovery period.  The risk is not worth it.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Must stop smoking and drinking?

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Hello needwaistback,
Thanks for your question.
If you continue to smoke and drink then your risks of severe complications are much higher.
If you smoke, nicotine stays around for up to 30 days after the last cigarette.  Nicotine has the ability to clamp down on the tiny blood vessels necessary heal surgical incisions.  This means you could end up with patches of dead tissue and open incisions with delayed healing and poor scarring.
Alcohol use thins out the blood and increases bleeding, plus it affects how your body works with surgical anesthesia.  This increases the risk of peri-operative and post-operative complications that could jeopardize your results and increase the chance of hospitalization.
Elective surgery should be done under the best conditions.
If you can't be compliant before surgery, it makes sense to delay surgery until you can.
Good luck,
Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Must stop smoking and drinking?

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Yes, you must stop. Even if you could find a surgeon who  would proceed with elective surgery on someone who smokes even one cigarette a day, or is exposed to second-hand smoke, or uses nicotine gum, spray or patches, or vapes, YOU are the one who could suffer dead belly button, necrotic abdominal skin above the pubic area, or dead nipples.

But then you'd expect your surgeon to "fix it." Unfortunately, there is no magic wand or dead skin revival surgery, only reconstructive "salvage" procedures. No longer cosmetic. Not nice-looking. Gotta live with it.

So, of course, elective surgery would not be performed by the vast majority of us. And if you "fooled" or successfully lied to your surgeon, it would still by YOUR dead skin and now a problem for both you and your surgeon.

And that's not even the alcohol and anesthesia and narcotic concerns.

Stop both or don't have surgery. I can't say it any stronger. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Risks of not quitting smoking and drinking

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Thanks for your inquiry, first please let your doctor know you are struggling with quitting alcohol and smoking.  Nicotine use causes death of tissues and alcohol interacts with prescription medications, thins the blood, and interfers with anesthesia.  I wish you the best of luck.  


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If you can't stop smoking then you should not have surgery as it could have disastrous consequences to your final results when it comes to your tummy tuck.  Make sure to be honest about your smoking history with your doctor and there are medications that can help you stop smoking.

Anh Lee, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 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.