Having cosmetic surgery? Facelift, Tummy tuck, boob job? Your plastic surgeon has probably told you to stop smoking before your operation. This is good advice!
Cigarettes contain nicotine and carbon monoxide, along with many other chemicals.
· Nicotine causes blood vessels to narrow and prevents blood from flowing freely which is the opposite of what is needed for the body to heal properly after surgery. As a result of this the healing process can take significantly longer.
· The presence of carbon monoxide decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood which will make it more difficult for your body to get the oxygen it needs to heal. This lack of oxygen can also lead to complications with breathing during surgery.
Both of the above can cause skin, muscle and fat to die due to the lack of oxygen flowing to the healing area, this is called necrosis
· Cigarettes can also reduce how well other medications work or negatively interact with them causing further complications. This again can affect healing and pain management.
For anyone looking to quit smoking before cosmetic surgery, electronic cigarettes may seem like the ideal option. But do not swap your cigarettes for vaping just yet!
With the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, many patients are wondering if they are safe to use prior to surgery. The answer is NO. Although they do not contain tobacco, e-cigarettes do use a liquid that contains nicotine, which is inhaled in the form of an aerosol. In addition to nicotine, e-liquids usually contain propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, and flavourings. Vaping is a safer alternative to inhaling tobacco; however, it still contains nicotine!
Mixing ANY nicotine products (including gum and patches) with cosmetic surgery can lead to infections due to healing problems, thicker, wider scars, loss of nipples, cheek/stomach skin, loss of breast implants and more serious life-threatening complications such as blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.
Here at ASET hospital, patient care and safety is our top priority. If you are considering cosmetic surgery, we advise you to stop smoking/vaping 6 weeks before surgery and 3 weeks after. We understand that this is easier said than done. Hence, our in-house Emotional Well-Being Practitioner can support you to work on a cessation plan to achieve that important goal before surgery.