I Stopped Smoking 8 Months Ago. What Are my Healing Risks with a Tummytuck and Breast Augmentation?

I only smoked for a year and only about 2 or 3 a day...

Doctor Answers 11

Mommy Makeover and Breast Implants OK 8 Weeks After Stop Smoking

Congratulations! You are past the point where smoking can adversely impact a Mommy Makeover with Breast Augmentation.

Generally we wait 8 weeks after smoking cessation before doing a Mommy Makeover.

Smoking before Mommy Makeover?

Good for you!  At this point, given your abstinence for 8 months, you have done well and are not exposed to significantly more risk than a non-smoker. Continue to stay nicotine free prior to (and after) surgery.

I have also attached some advice that I provide to my patients who are about to go  major body contouring surgery:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.


2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.


3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.


4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.


6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.


7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.


8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).


9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.


10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.


11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.

 
I hope this helps.

 Best wishes

Smoking and Healing

Smoking may affect your #healing and the end result of your surgery. It's best to call your plastic #surgeon to better clarify. It is encouraged to refrain from cigarettes prior surgery and post op in order decrease the chance of complications and promote better healing. Therefore, the farther in advance prior surgery and the more time after the procedure, you can avoid #smoking, the better it may be for your surgical #outcomes and your overall #health. It's also very important to implement healthy lifestyle choices to not only prolong your surgical results, but most importantly, to reduce your risk of illness and disease which will impact your health. If you find it difficult to quit smoking, speak to your physician who can provide information and programs that are properly designed to help you quit. 

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 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.

Smoking and surgery

Your smoking history will not affect your 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. This is especially bad in breast reductions or face lifts. 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.
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

I stopped smoking 8 months ago. What are my healing risks with a tummy tuck and breast augmentation?

Hello! Thank you for your question!   I congratulate you for cessatio and encourage you to continue.  Your risk should be that of a non-smoker at this point.  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 and tummy tuck where the viability of the skin/tissue, and nipple-areolar complex 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 24 reviews

Smoking and cosmetic surgery

Congratulations on stopping smoking!  It is a difficult habit to quit.  If you have stopped for 8 months, then you do not have any increased risk of complications with healing.  Continue to stay away from cigarettes before and after surgery and you should do fine with surgery as long as you are otherwise healthy.

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Smoking and Surgery

Hi Alishadsevy

Good work on kicking the smoking habit. Smoking increases your risk of wound infection and healing problems in all surgical procedures. The available evidence is that after about 8 weeks of nicotine abstinence (so no gums or patches or anything like that), your risks for wound problems have returned to that of the non-smoking population. Remaining off nicotine for 8 weeks after a procedure places your wounds in the best situation to heal well.

It would be safe to proceed with a tummy tuck or breast augmentation. There will still be small risks of wound problems, but you've eliminated your greatest potential problem.

Good Luck

Dr Gavin Sandercoe

 

Smoking and Surgery

If you have stopped all nicotine products for 8 months and you were only a light smoker then your risks should be back to the same risks as a non-smoker .

Remember that the other major risk factor with abdominal surgery is obesity so make sure your weight is in the optimal range before surgery . This will get you the best cosmetic result as well .

 

All the best

Terrence Scamp

Terrence Scamp, MBBS, FRACS
Gold Coast Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Smoking and surgery--risky!

I require absolute abstinence from tobacco, and nicotine products (including exposure to second-hand smoke) for a minimum of 2 weeks before surgery. Longer is definitely better, but after 8 months of no smoking, your risks have returned to baseline, which is to say that they are not zero!

But instead of a 15-20% risk of dead skin, your risk is below 1%.

Those ischemic (poor circulation) risks associated with nicotine are more concerning when skin flaps must heal. Surgical examples include facelift, breast lift, and tummy tucks. But even breast augmentation patients who aren't at risk of dead skin from vaso-constricted skin flaps can still have bleeding and capsular contracture risk increased if they are former smokers who cough and raise their blood pressure.

Good job; now stay away from second-hand smoke as well! Good luck and best wishes on your upcoming surgery! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 239 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.