Do I Need to Reschedule Breast Augmentation and Chin Lipo if I've Smoked a Cigarette?

I had a few drags on a cigarette last night and have breast augmentation and chin lipo scheduled on Wednesday, should I reschedule? I have been 100% smoke free for 3 weeks, and am a social smoker to begin with (probably 1 pack total per month at most) and plan to completely stop going forward.

Doctor Answers 15

Smoking and BA

Most experts unanimously agree that smoking increases the rate of breast augmentation surgical complications significantly. Just about all plastic surgeons strongly recommend women to stop smoking and all nicotine products well in advance of breast augmentation with breast implants. Many plastic surgeons recommend stopping all tobacco products several months prior to surgery.
Here is the reason why: the nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products (including Nicorette gum, patches, etc) is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it makes the Smoking is a significant multiplier of many potential complications following surgery and breast augmentation with implants are no exception. Nicotine from smoking causes blood vessels to vasoconstrict ( tighten up). Over time, these constricted arteries and capillaries deliver less blood to the breast tissue which is needed for normal healing. Smokers therefore have an increased incidence of higher likelihood of complications such as infection, and in particular capsular contracture (hardening and distortion of the implants). General complications of surgery such as blood clots, anesthetic problems such as pneumonia are also increased.
A scientific article in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicated that, among all forms of surgery, quitting smoking eight weeks prior was never associated with an increased risk of complications.
In young patients you will probably statistically avoid these complications, why tempt fate by increasing your odds that something bad will happen.On a long term basis, smoking also causes accelerated aging of the skin and loss of elasticity. Hopefully these reasons will help give you the will power and courage to stop smoking.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

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. Please discuss with your surgeon what their guidelines are for your particular surgery.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Ask your surgeon

Smoking is very detrimental to the recovery process following breast augmentation and other surgery. It compromises your immune system making your body less effective in fighting infection. It also hinders circulation making the recovery process slower. I usually recommend my patients stop smoking about two weeks before surgery. However, if you were smoke-free for three and only smoked one cigarette, you may be okay. Please ask your surgeon for their advice. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Do I need to reschedule breast augmentation and chin lipo if I've smoked a cigarette?

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 breast augmentation where the viability of the nipple-areolar complex as well as akin/tissue 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 including blood clots. 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. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

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

Breast augmentation and chin lipo after smoking

As you can imagine, smoking is bad for breast augmentation, (and surgery in general). Most would say that you have a significantly higher rate of wound complications. When one takes a drag on a cigarette, the chemicals cause vasoconstriction. Wound healing is all about getting blood flow and oxygen to the tissue. I believe that you will find that each doctor may have a different opinion as to how long you need to be off cigarettes. Some will test for nicotine in the system. Best to talk with a board certified plastic surgeon. Also best to quit smoking, (for a variety of other health reasons as well).

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Do I Need to Reschedule Breast Augmentation and Chin Lipo if I've Smoked a Cigarette?

Thoughts vary throughout the community re length of time to be nicotine free and which procedures this most effects.  In my practice, if you were nicotine free for 3 weeks, had only a “few drags” a few days prior to your surgery, I would most likely go ahead with the planned procedure.  However, I do have a “smoking-nicotine” waiver that I ask people to read and sign for patients who are chronic smokers and I feel that there is a chance that they have been non-compliant.  I have grave concern regarding  surgery for anyone who smokes; however, my most concern is for patients undergoing either abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), breast reduction,  or rhytidectomy (facelift) surgery.  These three  procedures have a higher incidence of flap or tissue failure in patients who are smokers.  I prefer that my patients discontinue smoking at least 1 month preop and 1 month postop. 

Jonathan Ross Berman, M.D. , F.A.C.S.

Jonathan Berman, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews


Disclose the fact that you smoked to your surgeon and anesthesiologist.  You will probably not need to rescedule but they can take the necessary precautions.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Smoking and breast aumentation with chin liposuction.

Nicotine in the smoke shrinks your blood vessels and can interfer with oxygen delivery to the tissues. There is also carbon monoxyde in the smoke that can do the same thing. When I perform procedures that involve skin flap elevation, example, facelift or tummy tuck I would ask the patient to stop smoking for at least three weeks prior to surgery. I do not ask patients to stop prior to breast augmentation routinely. One cigarette the night before should not make a difference, but you should ask your plastic surgeon for his personal opinion. It is good to ask question on realself because the answers can benefit everyone, but you and your surgeon are about to go on a journey together and have to establish a good level of communication. You should always follow all the instructions as long as you are under his or her care.

Farhad Rafizadeh, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Breast augmentation and chin and smoking

I have active smokers stop 3-4 wks before surgery and remain off for 3-4 wks after surgery.  For a single cigarette, it probably is not a problem, but you should discuss it with your surgeon.

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

Ask surgeon about smoking before breast augmentatiom

you need to discuss this with your surgeon, since not all surgeons would handle this the same way. for these particular surgeries, i myself would likely proceed.....but if you were having a facelift, tummytuck, or breastlift i would not. best of luck.......

Bruce K. Barach, MD
Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 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.