I've Never Smoked Before but Started 5 Weeks After Open Rhinoplasty. Did I Cause Damage?

It's been 5 weeks since I had open rhinoplasty and I started smoking yesterday(I've never smoked before in my life but thought I'd celebrate as I just turned 18) and since then I have smoked a 20 pack. What effect would it have If I continue to smoke and have I caused any long-term damage by smoking so much in such a short amount of time?(whilst also taking into consideration that I have never smoked prior to my 18th birthday)

Doctor Answers 6

Smoking after surgery

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I disagree with both the answers sent by other surgeons.Smoking is not like aspirin that starts working with in minutes in the body.Mircocirculation of the body does not change with the first puff of your life.No damage of any kind has been done so far.It takes years of smoking to reduce peripheral circulation of body.However its a known fact that smoking is bad for health .As far as surgery is concerned those who are addicted they quite manage to smoke soon after surgery without doing much harm.

You May Not Have Caused Damage to your Rhinoplasty by Smoking Yet- But You Will

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Aside from all the obvious problems related to smoking (cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and vascular disease), the biggest issue right now is that smoking causes the blood vessels going to your nose to contract. This causes less blood flow to your nose which makes it more difficult to heal. If you continue to smoke, you will heal more slowly, the chances of developing a complication from the surgery will increase, and the end result may not look as good as it could. The good news is that it is very unlikely that you have caused any damage from 1 pack of cigarettes, but you need to stop now! Congrats on turning 18. Celebrate with an ice cream sundae instead.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Smoking and Rhinoplasty

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Please stop smoking immediately. Continued smoking will compromise healing and can lead to complications. Consult with your surgeon so he can check to see what damage you have done, and what steps need to be taken.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Smoking after rhinoplasty

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Thank you for the question. You should absolutely consult with your physician about your smoking habits in order to obtain the most reliable and individualized medical advice. Most specialists recommend abstaining from smoking for 2-3 weeks before a rhinoplasty, while others may insist on a full month or two. Smoking will cause irritation and restrict the blood flow to your healing areas, possibly causing complications during the recovery period.   

In addition, you should also make sure to avoid smoking for at least two weeks after surgery as it may interfere with your healing process. Smoking after surgery may restrict the flow of blood to the healing areas, exacerbate swelling, and prolong recovery. If you don't observe any increase in swelling or discomfort, your recovery is most likely proceeding normally. Of course, as a physician, I would advise you to quit smoking altogether due to a variety of health risks associated with it. 

 An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon would be the best way to assess your needs and obtain expert medical advice. Best of luck!

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Smoking after open Rhinoplasty

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It is uncertain, although unlikey, that you have caused damage to your nose thus far, but I highly recomend that you stop smoking since you rhinoplasty is still healing.

Smoking after Rhinoplasty

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Dear Dylan,

Aside the multiple health issues that smoking causes, vasoconstriction is one of them; which will impede your blood flow from the area recovering (in this case, your nasal area).

The less the blood circulates through the nasal tissue the longer the recovery will be and the higher the risks of complications will get.

Moreover, the results of your surgery could be compromised.


Thank you for your inquiry and the best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 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.