How Long Will I of Had to Stop Smoking Before I Can Get Breast Implants?

Doctor Answers 26

Smoking and breast augmentation

Thank you for your question. Smoking before or after your surgery can increase your risk of developing complications including infection and wound healing problems. I tell my patients that it is ideal to stop a couple months ahead of surgery and then for a couple months after surgery.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Smoking and surgery

Here are the major points of smoking Tobacco or Marijuana before or after surgery:
1. There is nicotine in tobacco, but not in marijuana. However, most joints are rolled with marijuana and tobacco combination. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that decreases blood flow to the tissues. This is the major problems that can cause a very bad outcome in some surgeries. In a breast augmentation, there is not a lot of risk as there are not a lot of incisions which decrease blood flow to the tissues. In a breast lift or tummy tuck, on the other hand, there is much longer and more involved incisions. The decrease in blood flow to the tissues in combination with the decrease in blood flow from the nicotine can cause tissue to die. This can cause part of the breast or nipple, or in the case of a tummy tuck, part of the belly tissue to die, resulting in a very bad outcome. Marijuana without tobacco does not cause this problem, or marijuana in an edible fashion.
2. There is carbon monoxide in both tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke. Carbon monoxide decreases the oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin in the blood. This is different from the vasoconstrictor effect, but has the same result of having the risk of tissue death in conjunction with surgeries that decrease the blood flow to tissues such as breast lifts and tummy tucks, as opposed to an augmentation alone that does not decrease blood flow to as great of an extent. Again, edible forms of marijuana do not have smoke, and thus carbon monoxide poisoning.
3. Coughing. Both tobacco and marijuana smoke disrupt the lining of the lungs and bronchi and can lead to coughing episodes. Coughing episodes can lead to internal bleeding after surgery that can lead to hematomas and complications, and again a bad outcome. Again, edible forms of marijuana does not have this effect.
4. Anesthesia effects. Marijuana can have drug interactions with certain anesthetic drugs. Thus it is important to tell your anesthesiologist about your marijuana use.
In conclusion, Smoking, whether it be tobacco or marijuana, is detrimental to your surgery outcome. Edible marijuana is much less so, but be honest about your use with your surgeon and anesthesiologist so that you can have the best outcome. In general, you should quite smoking many weeks, ideally 6 weeks before surgery, and not smoke for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

How long will I have had to stop smoking before I can get breast implants?

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, poor scarring, and wound complications, as well as other health consequences. The anesthesia risk is greater with general anesthesia as well as pulmonary issues/lung infections postoperatively. I would discuss this with your surgeon prior to your procedure. Some surgeons will refuse to operate on smokers and may check urine or blood levels prior.  Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Cigarettes and breast implants

Dear patient,
While it is not essential to stop smoking prior to breast augmentation surgery, it is recommended to stop 2 weeks prior to surgery. The reasons being: to speed the healing process, and to avoid respiratory complications.


Teanoosh Zadeh, MD, FRCSC
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Smoking and breast augmentation.

I recommend for my patients to stop smoking at least 4 weeks prior to surgery if possible. Smoking will affect everything from anesthesia to healing from the operation. It is also important to know that smoking replacement or nicotine replacement therapies may need to be avoided. In particular is Chantix as it can interfere with the metabolism of many common anesthetics. Staying smoke free during the recovery period is also recommended for an additional 4 weeks. For many patients, they find that this requirement gives them a goal to stop smoking altogether. Best of luck!

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Breast Implants and Smoking

We ask our patients to avoid nicotine or nicotine products for six weeks before and six weeks after surgery to decrease infection and promote better healing.  Some surgeons feel smoking, over the long haul, contributes to capsule formation.   All the best, "Dr. Joe" Gryskiewicz

Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 278 reviews

Smoking and Breast Augmentation

Any flaps like tummy tuck, facelift, and breast lift have higher complications of skin necrosis with smokers, and most Board Certified Plastic Surgeons would not do these surgery's  if you are smoking.  We do know from surgery center stats that you have a four time higher chance of infection to the surgical wound if you are a smoker.  That being said, smoking is not a contraindication for breast augmentation, and I do this surgery on smokers frequently.  But smoking will increase your risks of anesthetic complications.  There is nothing harder to quit as a habit than smoking, but it would be much better for you.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Smoking and surgery

I prefer that patients stop smoking about four weeks prior to surgery and remain off cigarettes for four more weeks. Preferably avoid second hand smoke as well.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Smoking and breast augmentation

You do not have to quit smoking in order to have a breast augmentation.  Your chances of having a problem with wound healing are not increased by smoking. The chance of having anesthesia problems is slightly higher than in a nonsmoker, the chance of a post operative bleed may be higher if you cough a lot after surgery.

Walter D. Gracia, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Smoking cessation

The best answer is: the longer, the better!  Four to six weeks is the absolute minimum but I would encourage you to try to beat the habit and stay off cigarettes even longer.  Sure, patients who don't smoke can develop complications, too, but we do know that smoking is implicated in poor wound healing and scarring.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 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.