Using tobacco 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. Please be honest with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Together you can make a plan to quit and proceed with surgery. The amount of time between quitting and surgery will depend on the Plastic Surgeon and the procedure.
The bad effects from smoking are due to the nicotine in the cigarettes. The patch has the same thing so no better than smoking
Nicotine in any form (gum, patch, vape, or any other form) can have a bad effect on your healing from plastic surgery. This is especially true in surgeries like tummy tuck, breast lift, and facelift.
My advice is to have patients quit all forms of nicotine at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. Talk specifically with your surgeon about what you should do.
I ask my patients to stop smoking at least 1 month before surgery. Even 1 puff of a cigarette will cause the small blood vessels to clamp down which will decrease blood flow to certain areas. In order to heal well after surgery one wants as much blood supply to the area as possible so you can imagine how smoking can delay or even negatively affect the healing process. The unfortunate thing is that nicotine patches create this same effect! The best thing to do is to call your plastic surgeon right away and inform him that you have been using the patch. See what his thoughts are. I hope this helps.
Ankur Mehta MD
Nicotine constricts small blood vessels and which carry oxygen, an essential element in wound healing. It is best to stop all nicotine products several weeks before surgery. This is something that should be addressed with your surgeon.
It is impossible to give any significant advice without more information. It is way too late if either smoking or a patch will make any difference. You should have stopped both several weeks ago. Nicotine, the worst thing in smoking and the main ingredient in the patches reduces blood supply to the skin for many weeks. This markedly increases the risk of wound and healing problems and skin death especially in those procedures that significantly undermine the skin and reduce its blood supply already. I will not do these type of cases under any circumstances unless the person has been off both for at least a month. For other cases, I warn that the risks of delayed healing are significantly increased.Also increased are the problems with anesthesia and recovery with the risk of pneumonia. I, therefore, cannot answer your question. It is something you should have discussed with your surgeon a month ago. It is good, though, that you have at least thought about it now.
All surgeries carry risk. In order to minimize healing complications and other possible risks, you should maintain a healthy nutritional status and avoid anything that could affect blood flow to the area of surgery. Nicotine patches cause constriction of the small blood vessels which carry the oxygen and essential building blocks to heal surgical wounds. It is important that you discuss both your diet and nutrition plan as well as your patch before undergoing surgery to avoid any potential issues.
Your question demonstrates the importance of communication and understanding between a surgeon and his patient.
The reason most Plastic surgeons avoid operating on Nicotine users (most commonly smokers) is that they frequently have serious healing complications and substandard results associated with poor blood flow caused by the nicotine.
Consuming nicotine in ANY way be it by chewing, inhaling or by patch is the same.
I would urge you to discuss it with your surgeon before the morning of surgery and have both of you decide what to do.
The nicotine in tobacco products as well as nicotine patches and nicotine gums impairs wound healing. All nicotine products should be stopped prior to surgery. You should notify your Plastic Surgeon of your nicotine patch usage. He or she may advise you to postpone your surgery.
Thank you for your question. It is good that you realize smoking can compromise the outcomes of surgery by delaying or preventing wound healing. It is actually the nicotine in the tobacco, or nicotine in any form including second-hand smoke, nicotine patches, gum, etc, that increases the risk for complications. Most literature recommends nicotine cessation no less than 2 weeks from the time of surgery to allow the nicotine to clear. Nicotine cessation should continue throughout the healing process or at least 6 weeks. Discuss this issue with your board certified plastic surgeon for his/her specific recommendations.