Will Smoking Marijuana Affect my Recovery from Breast Augmentation Surgery?

I smoke weed daily and hear that it can affect anesthesia, does it affect recovery also? How long will I have to wait post op before smoking again?

Doctor Answers 12

Marijauna and surgery

We are all told the detrimental effects of smoking cigarettes and how it can affect your healing.  This involves diminishing oxygen to your healing tissue, the vasoconstrictive effects on vessels limiting blood supply to the wound, and the irritation of your airway resulting in coughing fits that can contribute to bleeding and hematomas.

With augmentations, smoking is rarely a problem for an uneventful recovery and patients who have this surgery simply accept the greater risks of bleeding should they have significant coughing.  I would have no reservations on doing breast augmentation on a pakalolo smoker.  It could even help with your pain post-operatively.


Redding Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How does Nicotine or Marijuana Affect Surgery?

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.  Marijuana without tobacco does not cause this problem, or marijuana in an edible fashion.
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.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Marijuana and surgery

Marijuana itself has very little effect on wound healing or recovery after surgery.  Smoking, however, decreases lung function and can interfere with wound healing.  Most experts suggest cessation of smoking for at least four weeks before surgery.

Marijuana is a psychotropic drug that can lead to mild dependency and to mood changes. I suggest quitting for a month before surgery and seeing how you feel.  If mood and sleep patterns are disrupted consider squaring these things away before submitting yourself to the stress of surgery.

Marijuana can impact breathing and airway function.

It’s important that patients stop smoking both cigarettes and marijuana for at least two weeks prior to breast augmentation.They should also avoid smoking for at least two weeks following surgery as well.
Since marijuana doesn’t contain nicotine, it doesn’t cause the significant vasoconstriction that cigarette smoking causes.Despite this, smoking marijuana can have a negative impact on breathing and airway function.For these reasons, it’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon before undergoing breast augmentation surgery.

Smoking before and after surgery

Hi and thank you for your question.
It is recommended that you stop smoking 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after surgery.  Smoking can cause post operative complications . Better to be safe than sorry. Best of luck!

Will Smoking Marijuana Affect my Recovery from Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Hello! Thank you for your question! The issue with nicotine, or any inhalational agent, in 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 is obviously important. Since the vascularity to the area is already tenuous with placement of the implant beneath, maximizing blood flow to the tissue is critical. In addition, your respiratory system may be compromised, and potentially have adverse effects with general anesthesia.

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, and wound complications, as well as other health consequences. The most devastating consequence is infection, especially since an implantable prosthetic device is used, is increased. This along with wound healing and scarring.  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 17 reviews

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.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Smoking marijuana after surgery

Thank you for the question.  Generally, smoking can pose side effects or complications to your healing process.  it would be best to lay off the smoking at least 2 weeks after surgery.  Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

No smoking for one month

You should stop smoking (including marijuana) for at least two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Smoking decreases oxygen delivery to your tissues, which is bad news for wound healing. Protect your investment - take a month off from smoking.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Does Marijuana Effect Recovery From Breast Augmentation?

I strongly encourage all of my surgical patients to stop smoking (marijuana or cigarettes) four weeks prior to surgery and at least two weeks after.  While marijuana itself may not have a significant impact on your recovery, the smoking has a detrimental effect on wound healing.  Many smokers experience coughing issues which can further contribute to recovery problems such as bleeding and disruption of the surgical site.  Consider your surgery a wonderful opportunity to quit smoking for the long term!

Louis DeLuca, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.