What are the risks of smoking 5 weeks after tummy tuck?

I just really need someone to kick me on the a**. I quit 7.5 years ago started to have the occasional smoke while drinking 6 months ago...didn't have any at all for 5 weeks after tt..then life became stressful with all my bills coming in and the last 2 weeks I been smoking about 6 or 7 a day.

Doctor Answers 5

Risks of smoking after tummy tuck

Remaining smoke free is important to the result.  Using tobacco products brings a significant risk of cancer, stroke, heat attack, etc. From a Plastic Surgery standpoint it is a vasoconstrictor. Wound healing is all about getting oxygen and needed entities to the wound. It is well known that patients who smoke have a tremendous increase in their rate of serious complications, (infections, wounds falling apart, etc.). Nicotine is the main vasoconstrictor, so getting a patch or lozenge of nicotine won't help the vasoconstriction. Best to be off the tobacco/nicotine entirely before surgery. Please be honest with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Together you can make a plan to stay a non smoker.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

What are the risks of smoking 5 weeks after tummy tuck?

Hello! Thank you for your question! 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 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 26 reviews

Smoking after TT

The risk is skin loss, and it can still happen at 5 weeks.  The TT itself wipes out a lot of the blood supply to the abdominal skin by dividing many small arteries that came from the underlying muscles. 

Nicotine decreases blood flow by a separate mechanism (narrowing the remaining small arteries) and often causes skin loss and prolonged healing problems. 

ALl the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

What are the risks of smoking 5 weeks after tummy tuck?

Smokers potentially have a greater risk of skin loss and wound healing complications or infection.  You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon's instructions before and after the surgery.  You have quit before so if there was ever a time to quit, now is that time.  Remember you had this surgery for a reason and you don’t want to do anything that may jeopardize your final result.

Frank Lista, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Smoking after TT

  • Smoking is a horrible thing to do to yourself.
  • I am an ex-4 pack a day smoker. So I know.
  • You have quit before. You can do it again.
  • Stop drinking - it sounds as though that's what started the smoking.
  • Smoking and drinking take money - save it for your bills and you'll worry less.
  • Get your best friend/nearest family to nag you mercilessly until you quit.
  • Things will be much better - smoke free. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 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.