Can Anyone at All Answer my Question As to Rather They Smoked Before or After Having a TT? Just Curious.

Doctor Answers 2

Smoking before or after a tummy tuck

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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.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Smoking before/after TT

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With all of the lifting operations (face lift, breast lift, breast reduction, tummy tuck), elevating the skin off of the underlying structures significantly cuts down on the blood supply, though rarely enough to cause a problem

Add nicotine, and, by a different mechanism (narrowing of the small arteries) there is another hit on the blood supply that can and does sometimes cause cell death, with loss of tissue (skin and fat) and a prolonged wound problem and a poor outcome for what was an elective procedure.  I have seen this happen with tummy tuck patients who smoked during the early healing period. Nicotine gum or patches may even be worse than smoking in this setting. 

If you won't stop smoking, don't consider a TT. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.