Will smoking marijuana before breast augmentation cause any problems during my surgery or after?

My surgery is on July 21st. I have my medical card and smoke marijuana because of chronic back pain. I was told by my surgeon I would need to quit smoking 3-4 weeks prior to my surgery but instead i quit two weeks before and decided to smoke once tonight because my back hurt so bad. I am very nervous and feel I should call my surgeons office tomorrow and let them know. I just don't want them to have to push back my surgery date. :(

Doctor Answers 13

Smoking marijuana around time of breast augmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question.  Marijuana does not contain nicotine, which is the vasoconstrictor that causes wound healing problems.  Smoking marijuana will make your lungs more reactive and your airway more reactive (mucous production, irritated, provoke coughing).  Best to quit around the time of surgery if you can.  With such small incisions with breast augmentation, it is unlikely to cause any major healing issues.  

Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Smoking marijuana and breast augmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
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 generally ask patients to stop a couple months ahead of surgery and then for a couple months after surgery.

Will smoking marijuana before breast augmentation cause any problems during my surgery or after?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Hello! Thank you for your question! The issue with nicotine, or other inhalants in smoke, 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 breast surgery 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 any surgical procedure. Nicotine and others always increase the risk for infection and wound complications, as well as other health consequences, especially with general anesthesia and pulmonary issues. 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 28 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
You should call your surgeon and push back your surgery date. It's not worth the risk. 

Dr. Burnett

Smoking and Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
This is a good question that I'm asked more frequently all the time.  There is a clear link between smoking cigarettes and wound healing problems.  In my opinion it is not the nicotine in regular cigarettes that is the main offender in increased wound healing complications.  Smoke of any kind has chemical products that impair our bodies ability to function normally.  I have had many experiences of poor wound healing in smoking trauma patients that could not wait for surgery. I insist that my breast augmentation patients not smoke anything for two months prior to surgery.  If you are in doubt I would suggest you talk this over with your surgeon.

Chris Thomson, MD
Saskatchewan Plastic Surgeon

Marijuana and Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
This is a great question. Due to your marijuana use being prescribed there should be no problem with your surgeon. I have not found any increased complications due to marijuana use. Just make sure that you are not adding any tobacco products to your marijuana. 


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
I have told my patients to go ahead and smoke before and afterwards. I think for a routine augmentation the relaxation is probably helpful.

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The relationship between you and your surgeon should be one of trust, and if you don't trust his judgement, you should not have chosen that surgeon. 

Assuming you are having just a breast augmentation, it is unlikely that this will cause a delay. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
I instruct my patients not to smoke anything including marijuana before surgery. Although some anesthesiologist believe it may reduce nausea and vomiting after general anesthesia.

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Marijuana smoking is a hot topic.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
There are no studies that show detrimental effects of marijuana smoking and breast augmentation per se.  Having said that it does differ from cigarette smoking due to the tar, nicotine and other products that are not fully disclosed by the cigarette companies.
Regarding the smoking itself, you should not make it a practice, because there are some local effects for healing related to carbon monoxide as a byproduct of any smoking. Speak to your surgeon, but I expect this to be more common in the future.

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 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.