Smoking & Surgery
The risks are much higher if you choose to continue to puff during your surgery & recovery.
The deadly side effects of smoking has been a well-known, ongoing issue for many years. So we have to be realistic and the effects of smoking and surgery and we cannot be soft when talking about this.
REMEMBER WHY YOU DECIDED TO HAVE SURGERY
This is usually a decision made to achieve a higher level of health and self-esteem and add to your sense of well-being. These are positive changes you are making to your body, and smoking before or after your procedure is putting yourself in real danger of having an unstable, unsafe recovery that could be fatal.
SMOKERS EXPOSE THEMSELVES TO MORE RISKS THAN NON-SMOKERS
If you cannot give up smoking before surgery, your surgeon will not proceed with the procedure. Our Doctors strongly recommend you stop smoking at least 8 weeks prior to surgery if not more. They usually say as soon as you decided to have surgery - stop smoking! This will give your body the BEST chance of healing.
Undergoing any type of surgery is the ideal incentive to give up those nasty cigarettes and improve your health.
WHY IS SMOKING SO BAD FOR SURGERY?
Regardless from all of the other damages smoking does to the body, such as coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular problems, emphysema and lung disease, it can also seriously jeopardize recovery from surgical procedures. Nicotine in cigarette smoke increase your heart rate and blood pressure, making your heart work harder so that it needs more oxygen. Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke competes with the oxygen in your blood. This makes it harder to get the oxygen you need for your heart and body. Chemicals in cigarette smoke make your blood thicker, stickier and more likely to clot.
Smokers will have a much higher risk of complications with surgery than non smokers as cigarettes restrict blood flow, which can decrease healing, increase the risk of infection, skin loss and blood flow circulation. Chemicals in cigarettes interfere with the rate at which certain drugs break down in your body.
Smoking can cause Necrosis, which is death of body tissue. It occurs when there is not enough blood flowing to the tissue, Necrosis is not reversible. This could result in disfigurement and permanent scarring.
OTHER SIDE EFFECTS AS A RESULT OF CONTINUING SMOKING
Smoking alters your immune system and you will have a higher risk for chest and wound infections after surgery. Smoking can slow down and interfere with the healing of bones, skin and other body tissues. You are more likely to have wound infection after surgery, longer healing times, problems with new scars opening up and bad scarring. Chemicals in cigarette smoke interfere with the rate at which certain drugs break down in your body.
Just remember, you are doing this to improve your health, looks and self-confidence!! If you have a complication and a part of your tissue dies, the resulting problem will be difficult, if not impossible to repair. This is NOT the fault of the surgeon! The first questions we usually are asked is about the surgeon and his qualifications and his surgery - but you should also ask yourself how are you going to give the surgeon the best body you can to ensure his results are the best! Our surgeons are always going to do their best they can - so please ensure you give them the healthiest body you can.
Electronic cigarettes are a smoking alternative that generates a vapor that is inhaled into the lungs of the user. The vapor contains many chemicals including nicotine. They generate a fine vapor or mist that is inhaled, just as smoke is inhaled. The vapor is created by heating a liquid within the e-cigarette that contains a variety of substances and chemicals. The liquid, and thus the vapor, do not contain the majority of the components found in cigarette tobacco that contribute to toxic smoke. The liquid does, however, contain variable quantities of nicotine. Therefore, it is considered electronic cigarette use, to be hazardous in relationship to surgery and should be avoided following planned surgery.
After surgery, it is important that you do not start smoking again, even if you only quit 12 hours before surgery!!!. Allow your body to recover and heal properly. Smoking makes recovery harder by stressing your heart, affecting your blood pressure, reducing oxygen in your blood and body tissues and damaging your lungs.
For more information and assistance for quitting smoking prior to surgery visit:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU SMOKE
From our Plastic Surgeons
You will NOT be covered by the surgeon's Surgery Guarantee
If you smoke within 8 weeks of your surgery and 8 weeks post surgery, your surgery guarantee from your surgeon will be voided. (Not even one cigarette!).
If you smoke, they WILL know
We know quitting smoking can be tough, but your health is much more important. If you have had a 'sneaky' cigarette, as much as you try to hide your smoking, the hospital staff and your surgeon CAN tell if you have been smoking.
Your surgeon is doing their best to ensure your safety, and want you to have the same attitude
Your surgeon will be doing everything in their power to ensure your surgery is safe and your risk of infection is low, it is disappointing to them to discover you have been smoking as you are not putting your health as high on the priority list as they are.
It's not worth it
Aside from infection, your incisions can split and you could experience major breathing problems - especially with big surgeries such as a Tummy Tuck or Breast Lift. You can alter the appearance of your scars and you WILL heal a lot slower - it can take a smoker up to 10 times longer to heal than a non-smoker, and with general healing of a non-smoker to be 3 - 12 months - it's a risk you shouldn't take for yourself.