SMOKING AND PLASTIC SURGERY: A BAD MIX

For anyone considering plastic surgery, it’s no secret that it is important to be in good physical shape. Good health not only increases the likelihood of a successful surgery, but it reduces recovery time and improves the chances of a better final result. Of course, we all know that smoking is not good for our health or our personal appearance. We know that smoking greatly increases our risk of getting cancer, emphysema, and vascular disease. We know that smoking stains our teeth, gives us bad breath, and makes our clothes and hair smell. Finally, we know that smoking accelerates aging of the face and body. But smoking also creates some unique challenges for the surgeon performing your procedure. Smoking significantly increases the risk of severe infections, pneumonia, and tissue death. The presence of nicotine in the body can cause circulation concerns. When blood flow is not constant, it can lead to cardiovascular complications during surgery. Poor blood flow is of particular concern for cosmetic procedures because it can significantly impact the outcome of the surgery. Procedures which involve a lot of pulling or altering of blood supply present more risk for a smoker. These procedures include face lifts, tummy tucks, and the use of tissue flaps as in reconstructive surgery. So if you are considering plastic surgery, you may want to seriously consider the idea that this is the perfect time to quit smoking. Surgery always entails some level of risk to your health and smoking greatly increases those risks. If you find yourself unable to quit, avoiding smoking for at least 3 weeks before and after surgery is advised.

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