Are there any surgeons left that will work on a patient that uses liquid nicotine from a vaporizer?

I would like to get a facelift. I also need to get another fat transfer to correct the botched lipo on my legs. My tt and breast doc tested for nicotine so I quit smoking. In 9 months I gained 40 lbs! I started using a vaporizer with nicotine and dropped the weight right away. I don't want to quit. The weight gain would obviously defeat the purpose of getting cosmetic surgery. It seems like everyone is doing nicotine tests now so it doesn't even matter that I'm not smoking cigarettes.

Doctor Answers 21

Liquid nicotine

As I tell my patients, the question is not if you will have a complication. It is, how bad will it be? This is your face. Ditch the nicotine.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Surgery and vapor cigarettes

Thank you for asking about your face lift.

  • Many smokers in the past had face lifts and healed well.
  • I do face lifts on smokers as long as they understand the increased risk of complications.
  • And as long as they absolutely will not smoke the 2 weeks before and after surgery.
  • There are pills that can help them through withdrawal during this time.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


Nicotine use whether by smoking, vaping, patches, gum, etc all have similar markedly increased risks for surgery including increased chance for loss of skin, infection, wound healing problems, leg vein clots, and others. The #LiteLift or #minifacelift procedure is less invasive than a traditional facelift and therefore theoretically has less risks. I operate on smokers after complete informed consent about their increased risks.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Nicotine and facelift

Most surgeon are testing for nicotine because avoiding it is so important in reducing your risk of complications. If you are having trouble maintaining your weight without it I would suggest seeing a weight loss specialist to address ways to manage your weight without nicotine use. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels for about 90 mins so if you smoke a pack per day, that's all day long! Constricting your blood vessels can decrease the healing cells that get to the area as well as antibiotics. 

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Nicotine is harmful in any form

I have performed procedures on smokers after informing them of the significantly increased risk of delayed healing,tissue loss, and unfavorable scarring that result. Avoiding nicotine as little as 2 weeks prior to surgery can reduce the risk.

Brian Widenhouse, MD
Charleston Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Facelifts and liquid nicotine via vaporizer

Facelifts and nicotine don't mix.  Nicotine is a very powerful vasoconstrictor.  To heal the facelift properly, you need blood flow to the wound.  Please get rid of the nicotine in any form before having a facelift.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Smoking and Facelift

Unfortunately, the use of any type of nicotine products increases the complication rate.  On the face, it is difficult to deal with loss of skin psychologically from the patient's standpoint as well to deal with the resultant scar regardless, if the patient was informed that there will be an increased complication rate with continued smoking. This why I do not perform facelift on smokers.  Since you will not quit then you will have to find a surgeon willing to roll the dice with you concerning your facelift.

Nicotine use and facelift

Thank you for your question. I certainly can understand you're in a difficult position. You want to look your best, but smoking cessation does not suit you at this stage. I am not aware of any surgeons in my area that would likely offer you a facelift type procedure while you were still using nicotine. It is simply too dangerous. The risks of problems with healing are significantly elevated.

Paul J. Leahy, MD
Leawood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Nicotine and facelift

Nicotine is a big problem when combined with a facelift. There has been studies where the chances of skin necrosis or surgical problems are 14 to 20 times more common on smokers than non-smokers. It is always advisable to stop smoking 2-3 weeks before and after a facelift. this includes all forms of nicotine exposure; smoking, e-cigarettes, nicotine gum, vapor nicotine, patches, etc.

Also, today physician will knoe if you are smoking since the nicotine test can be done in office in your saliva, blood, or urine.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Gus Diaz

Gustavo A. Diaz, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Nicotine and plastic surgery

You do need to quit nicotine if you are considering a facelift.  The nicotine constricts blood vessels and can impair your ability to heal.  

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 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.