2 surgeons referred to nicotine in restricting blood vessels. This confused me, as the popularity for imitation cigarettes is becoming more popular in helping smokers to stop inhaling all the other more dangerous chemicals. Would a surgeon still refuse to perform a facelift on a woman who uses these inhalers but has stopped smoking cigarettes?
Is It the Nicotine Itself That Constricts Blood Vessels?
Doctor Answers 29
Nicotine Is a Vasoconstrictor
Does the nicotine produce vessel constriction?
Nicotine and Surgery
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Smoking and Facial Surgery
The best candidates for Lite Lift™ and other facelift surgery have a face and neck line beginning to sag, but whose skin has elasticity and whose bone structure is well defined and do not smoke Additionally, smoking may increase a chance of surgical complications and affect your #healing and the end result of your surgery. It's best to call your plastic #surgeon to better clarify. It's 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.
Why should I stop smoking before a facelift?
Many thanks for posting your question.
The key factor in cigarettes is the nicotine - this is a powerful drug that closes down the blood vessels that your facelift requires for good wound healing. Therefore smokers have a much higher incidence of complications after facelift surgery, including wound infections and problems healing.
In addition, smokers coughing after surgery can result in bleeding starting which may cause a haematoma (collection of blood) which will require further surgery to drain it.
Personally I do not perform facelift surgery on people who continue to smoke, as it is not worth the risk
Smoking and Facelift
Smoking will slow and complicate healing. In addition to nicotine, other factors such as carbon monoxide are harmful to the healing process.
Nicotine does cause blood vessel constricion
While cutting out all the bad chemicals in cigarettes is certainly more health beneficial than smoking cigarettes, nicotine (whether inhaled or taken as a patch, a pill, or gum) does cause blood vessel constriction, which can effect your results. For cosmetic procedures, most all plastic surgeons will require that you stop smoking at least 3 weeks before and 4 weeks after your procedure. This is because it isn't worth the risk that you will have some wound healing problems. Nicotine causes constriction to tiny blood vessels. Because these are the vessels that we depend on after surgery to get blood supply to your incisions to heal them, they are the most important (more important than the larger vessels in your body that are minimally effected by nicotine). For those smaller blood vessels, the slightest constriction (like that caused by nicotine) can have a huge effect. It's just not worth it. Make sure you've broken away from the nicotine before going under the cosmetic knife.
Does nicotine constrict blood vessels?
Smoking and facelifts
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.