When to stop smoking before facelift?

Doctor Answers 44

When to stop smoking before facelift?

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At a minimum 4-6 weeks prior to any facelift procedure the patient should stop smoking, which also includes nicotine products, including patches.  The nicotine and other substances can cause serious negative effects on blood flow to the skin, thereby starving the skin of vital nutrients and oxygen, thereby causing necrosis of the skin and compromised aesthetic result.

I hope this helps.

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews


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I recommend complete stoppage of all nicotine products for a minimum of 4 weeks prior to face lift. Even if you stop smoking, you still need to hold off on other nicotine related products. Good Luck.

Be Nicotine-free for 2 Weeks Prior to Surgery

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I advise all patients to stop smoking for 2 months prior to the procedure.  It is important to stress that this includes all nicotine consumption.  The use of the patch must have been stopped for at least two months as well.  The nicotine is directly responsible for wound healing issues that can be disastrous.  I always demand that the patient sign a document that she/he has been nicotine free for two months and we also perform a cotinine test (to detect nicotine usage) on the day of surgery. 

No Smoking for at Least 1 Month

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The general recommendation is to stop smoking for at least 1 month before surgery. This can significantly reduce the risk of complications, both during and after surgery. Let me emphasize, though, that 1 month is the minimum recommendation. The best answer to your question is, "As soon as possible." The more time you allow yourself between your last cigarette and your surgery day, the safer your procedure will be.

WHen to stop smoking before a Face Lift

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Ideally, a month (4 weeks). The risk of surgery and a facelift goes up considerably in patients who smoke.

Of course, there are many other benefits of quitting as well!

Good luck,

Dr Bonaparte

James Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Ottawa Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Smoking with surgery

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excellent question. there is no hard data on the exact timing of how long one should stop prior to your procedure. I make may patients stop 1 month before surgery, but one can argue that the longer you stop , the better chances of healing nicely. all surgeons know that smoking seriously compromises your results and longevity of the procedures result.

When to stop smoking before a facelift

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Smoking increases the risk of surgical healing.  It would be best to quit for your surgery and to maintain your skin health.  Smoking has been noted to increase your aging appearance.

If surgery is to be performed it may require a modification in your surgery to maintain a thicker and hardier facelift flap.

You may benefit from other office based procedures to address your concerns including filler and Botox.

Please consult a Specialist in your area.  Many doctors are reluctant to proceed.

Ernest Robinson, MD
Aliso Viejo Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

When To Stop Smoking Before Having A Facelift

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You must absolutely stop smoking. I do not operate on people that smoke, as they have ten times or more the risk of having complications including infection and loss of skin. I would highly recommend that you stop smoking 6 weeks preoperatively and never again resume smoking.


Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

When to stop smoking before facelift

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Our office policy is to have the patient smoke-free for one month before AND after the procedure to avoid healing problems from the smoking.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Smoking cessation for facelifts

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i do not believe there is absolute answer to this question since healing complications can occur even without smoking. The risks of surgery in smokers is unquestionably higher. The technique of the surgery is also a factor. Other health factors like uncontrolled diabetes and certain medications can also compound the issue. Lowering these risks as much as possible is always recommended. As a general recommendation, I prefer to have my patients off nicotine a minimum of two weeks prior and after but will adjust this recommendation according to other factors involved. The most important thing is that my patient know that there are always risks and as a team, we need to work together to reduce the risks for the best results. 

Stephen Fink, DO FAOCO
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 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.