Are the risks of smoking before and after a mini tummy tuck as severe compared to a full TT? What are the risks if I can't quit?

Doctor Answers 8

The risk of not quitting smoking

The risk of not quitting smoking before a tummy tuck is a few fold:
-loss of blood supply and resulting death of abdominal tissue
-poor wound healing and potential wound separation
-anaesthetic risks

In general the risk of a mini tummy tuck should be theoretically less than a full, but I would recommend against chancing it.  However, best thing is to quit smoking first or to delay the surgery until you do.  


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Are the risks of smoking before and after a mini tummy tuck as severe compared to a full TT?

Although, the risks of wound healing problems are lower in a mini tummy tuck than a full tummy tuck, smoking can increase the risk in either procedure.  Risks primarily are associated with decreased tissue oxygenation which could lead to wound healing problems or even skin necrosis.  If one can cease smoking for 3 to 4 weeks before and after the surgery the risks will be much closer to that of a non-smoker.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Smoking risks are significant with both mini & full tummy tuck

Hi, yes the risks of smoking are the same regardless of whether you are having a mini vs. full tummy tuck.  Risks include delayed healing & tissue slough from compromised microcirculation, increased risk of blood clot formation, reactive airway and increased secretions noticed during anesthesia, etc.  In general, smoking creates inflammation in the body that can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease etc. making your general health suspect.  A nicotine patch is a step in the right direction.  Ask you PS about access to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in the event that you have trouble healing.  Good luck!

Need to stop

Mini tummy tuck would be safer in a smoker, but better to switch to a nicotine patch during the surgical period rather than smoking which adds carbon monoxide.

Tummy Tuck and the risk of smoking

No matter what type of tummy tuck you consider, the risks of serious complications increase significantly if you are a smoker.  These risks include damage to the undermined skin, blood clots, and worse.  Why not use the surgery as a powerful motivator to achieve a permanent change in your habits?  In the long run, quitting smoking will provide greater benefits than the most perfect tummy tuck.  If you permanently quit smoking and then have a tummy tuck, you will achieve a double benefit.  Best of luck.

John Q. Cook, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Are the risks of smoking before and after a mini tummy tuck as severe compared to a full TT? What are the risks if I can't quit?

You should not have a mini tummy tuck or tummy tuck if you are still smoking.   The metabolites of nicotine and car monoxide and a cigarette smoker cause the blood vessels to your skin to close down resulting in necrosis of skin, skin loss and unacceptable scarring.

Avoid nicotine for tummy tuck

Although the risk of complications from smoking may be less for a mini as compared to a full tummy tuck, it is still much greater than for a nonsmoker. You don't want to take unnecessary risks for an elective procedure. If you can't quit, don't have a tummy tuck! 

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Mini=tummy tuck and smoking risks

Thank you for asking about your mini-tummy tuck.

  • The mini-tummy tuck has a lower risk of skin necrosis than a full tummy tuck-
  • But most women need a full tummy tuck.
  • Blood clots, infection, non-healing wounds and poor scars are among the risks of smoking and having surgery although many people get lucky and do fine.
  • As a doctor my first concern however is your smoking.
  • It does horrible things to our bodies and I urge you to quit - permanently. 
  • As an ex-4 pack a day smoker, I assure you that if you quit every single day, ie- if you buy a pack, throw out the entire pack after you smoke the first cigarette and do this every single time you buy a pack of cigarettes, you will quit.


Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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.