I Smoked One Cigarette 10 Days After Rhinoplasty - Is That Okay?

Doctor Answers 12

Smoking after rhinoplasty is no big deal.

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Don't beat yourself up.  You won't do any harm to yourself with an occasional cigarette.  One cigarette 10 days after rhinoplasty will do no harm.

Rhinoplasty: Common Questions

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This is a very common question and I am glad you asked it. You should not smoke - even if it is just one. If you wish to have the best results then you need to adhere to your doctors recommendations until you completely heal. These guidelines are given to you in the best interest of one main person – you.

Be well and smoke free,
James M. Ridgway, MD, FACS

James M. Ridgway, MD, FACS
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

A little rat poison won't kill you!

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But do you really expect that anyone will give you a "pass" on prohibited activities?

Nicotine is such a potent vasoconstrictor (causes blood vessels to clamp shut) that virtually all plastic surgeons (except perhaps those who smoke themselves) recommend stopping all tobacco or nicotine use several weeks before and after surgery. The problem with vasoconstriction is loss of circulation in the nasal skin which could cause delayed healing, scarring, or skin loss requiring prolonged dressings, skin graft, or other reconstructive surgery. Sort of a big deal, isn't it?

So, no, 1 cigarette is NOT OK. Even if you haven't had any problems healing thus far, your healing is far from complete, so you do yourself no favors if you "sneak one" every now and then. Sort of like a little rat poison, wouldn't you say?

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews


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Thank you for your question. Smoking is not advised after a rhinoplasty because it can delay and interfere with the healing process. I advice you stop smoking immediately. You can return to smoking 4 weeks post op. 

All the best, 

Deepak Dugar, MD
Scarless Rhinoplasty Expert
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Deepak Raj Dugar, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

One is fine

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A single cigarette will not have a detrimental affect on the results of your rhinoplasty surgery. Still, cigarettes are known to be addictive in nature, and what starts off as one single cigarette can lead to continual smoking- which is not okay. My best advise is to refrain from smoking cigarettes altogether, so as to ensure that you are fully recovering and that your new nose is not negatively impacted in any way that can be controlled. 

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Smoking compromises recovery process

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It's extremely important that patients avoid the use of tobacco before and after surgery since this substance inhibits the recovery process. You should not smoke in the three weeks leading up to the nose job operation and for another three weeks afterward. This is primarily due to inhibiting blood circulation and making it more difficult to fight infection. If you are very worried, I recommend seeing your surgeon for an assessment.

Smoking and surgery

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One cigarette 10 days after rhinoplasty probably won't kill you, however, I would recommend stopping.Here are the major points of smoking Tobacco or Marijuana before or after surgery:1. There is nicotine in tobacco, but not in marijuana. However, most joints are rolled with marijuana and tobacco combination. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that decreases blood flow to the tissues. This is the major problems that can cause a very bad outcome in some surgeries. In a breast augmentation, there is not a lot of risk as there are not a lot of incisions which decrease blood flow to the tissues. In a breast lift or tummy tuck, on the other hand, there is much longer and more involved incisions. The decrease in blood flow to the tissues in combination with the decrease in blood flow from the nicotine can cause tissue to die. This can cause part of the breast or nipple, or in the case of a tummy tuck, part of the belly tissue to die, resulting in a very bad outcome. This is especially bad in breast reductions or face lifts. In a rhinoplasty the tip of the nose and the columella, the area between the tip and the lip, is at risk. Your skin and tissue can turn black and fall off if this happens. In fat transfer, the constricted blood flow can cause the fat to not get a blood supply and die. Marijuana without tobacco does not cause this problem, or marijuana in an edible fashion. Vaporizers do not decrease the amount of nicotine in tobacco, only decrease the smoke. Hookah also does not decrease nicotine.
2. There is carbon monoxide in both tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke. Carbon monoxide decreases the oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin in the blood. This is different from the vasoconstrictor effect, but has the same result of having the risk of tissue death in conjunction with surgeries that decrease the blood flow to tissues such as breast lifts and tummy tucks, as opposed to an augmentation alone that does not decrease blood flow to as great of an extent. Again, edible forms of marijuana do not have smoke, and thus carbon monoxide poisoning.
3. Coughing. Both tobacco and marijuana smoke disrupt the lining of the lungs and bronchi and can lead to coughing episodes. Coughing episodes can lead to internal bleeding after surgery that can lead to hematomas and complications, and again a bad outcome. Again, edible forms of marijuana does not have this effect.
4. Anesthesia effects. Marijuana can have drug interactions with certain anesthetic drugs. Thus it is important to tell your anesthesiologist about your marijuana use.
In conclusion, Smoking, whether it be tobacco or marijuana, is detrimental to your surgery outcome. Edible marijuana is much less so, but be honest about your use with your surgeon and anesthesiologist so that you can have the best outcome. In general, you should quite smoking many weeks, ideally 6 weeks before surgery, and not smoke for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

One Cigarette 10 Days after Rhinoplasty

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One cigarette 10 days after surgery is not okay, but you did no harm. If you stop smoking, you will get the best possible surgical result and improve your longevity.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Smoking and rhinoplasty don't match

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Dear rhinoplasty patient,
I agree with other respected plastic surgeons regarding smoking. Since you have not smoked for a long time take this opportunity to quit smoking all together. Saying that only one cigarette would not harm your nose. Enjoy your nose and your health

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 224 reviews

Smoked One Cigarette Ten Days After Rhinoplasty

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Hi Yer,

It depends what was in the cigarette.  Actually you should use this time as an opportunity to quit smoking for good since you have not been smoking for some time now.  Just remember that you are "a puff away from a pack a day".  Good luck and enjoy your new nose.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 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.