Can Alcohol and Smoking Delay Healing After Eyelid Surgery and Brow Lift?

I am a 26 year old male who had upper blepharoplasty and brow lift 3 months ago now . In the first 2 months I noticed great improvements. In the third month I have been drinking alcohol and smoking ciggarettes excessively as I had a bereavement. I have not noticed an improvement in the 3rd month. Is this directly related? If so is it permanent or I have I just delayed the recovery ??? THANKS

Doctor Answers 4

Yes, smoking and alcohol can delay healing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Yes, excessive smoking and drinking can delay your healing. I understand this is a difficult time for you, but it's best to find other alternatives to help you cope with your loss.

Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Smoking: will it hurt my surgery results?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

First, there is absolutely no benefit to the body's healing abilities when it is exposed to cigarette smoke. There are significant detriments to healing. Physicians realize that cigarette smoking addiction is extremely difficult to overcome...not impossible....but difficult. When a person undergoing surgery is able to discontinue smoking prior to surgery, or even reduce a pack-a-day habit to just a couple of cigarettes a day, then significant improvements to our circulation ( blood flow) needed for healing does occur. Complication rates fall. Results improve. Patient satisfaction rises.  (And, post operatively,  most patients have more time on their hands, and smoking frequency rises!  So it's best to improve that smoking habit before surgery takes place. )

Donn R. Chatham, MD
Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Smoking can definitely delay healing as can significant alcohol use

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Minor alcohol use is probably not an issue.  Smoking, however,  can definitely delay healing as can  significant alcohol use.  Many doctors prefer patients to stop smoking for three months before surgery as it affects the blood vascularization and can severely affect swelling and the final result.  For this reason patients are advised to stop smoking before having any procedure, particularly cosmetic.

Joseph A. Eviatar, MD, FACS
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Effect of Alcohol andSmoking on Post-Operative Healing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Improvement is always most obvious during the fist 6-8 weeks after surgery. Having said that, cigarettes and alcohol are detrimental  to the healing process. You have not yet done any permanent damage, but have delayed the end result.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 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.