Quitting smoking before breast augmentation surgery

Quitting smoking before breast augmentation surgery

02nd Oct 2019

Breast augmentation surgery

breast augmentation surgery

Breast augmentation is the second most popular plastic surgery in the US after liposuction. As the name suggests, the breast augmentation procedure increases the size of the breasts. If your breasts are smaller or flatter and the condition is affecting your quality of life, you may consider getting breast augmentation surgery.

The general approved idea by all doctors, and by all of us, mostly, is that smoking is not good for the health, in any way. Even those who smoke are perfectly aware of the high risks this bad habit implies. Still, most of us usually link smoking to heart or lung disease. Smoking is also a no-no when we are facing surgery, especially plastic surgery, and more so on operations that need flaps. 

There are many risks associated with smoking when it comes to plastic surgery. Smokers, especially heavy-duty ones, tend to develop a cough after a while, called smoker’s cough. Coughing after breast surgery can cause not only extreme pain but also bleeding of the wound. This can delay the healing process a lot.

Anesthesia is another factor weighing heavily in this equation. Studies have shown that people who smoke need a higher dose of anesthetic than those who do not light a cigarette. Even those who do not smoke but are exposed to cigarette smoke daily are also at risk of needing more anesthetic than a person that is never or rarely exposed to smoke. Doctors also consider that patients that are considered smokers have an unusual tolerance to pain medicine needed after any surgery. So, they will also require a higher dose of painkillers, which is not usually advised.

Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, and that means it makes the blood vessels in our body shrink and the blood flow to circulate with greater difficulty. When plastic surgery is involved, the main thing that is usually done by doctors during the procedure is to move around tissue and skin. This process involves a reduced blood supply in those areas. That together with the already deficient bloodstream can lead to ischemia. Ischemia is an affection produced by a tissue not getting enough oxygen through the arteries, and it leads to not healing of the wound. 

The same constriction of the arteries that occurs in smokers can also lead to blood clots and pneumonia or bronchitis after surgery. These kinds of infections can spread to breasts also producing infection. If the wound is infected, the only solution is for the implants to be taken out. It takes at least three to four months until they can be put back and another surgery can be done. And this is the more optimistic picture when the infected wound heals quick!

Doctors also warn that replacing cigarettes with vapers that use nicotine or even nicotine gum or patches is also a definite no. Nicotine is bad in general when we speak of plastic surgery breast augmentation surgery.

There are discussions still regarding the amount of time that needs to pass from the moment you quit until the time of your augmentation surgery. Some say two weeks before is enough, and others say that at least a month and some say even a year. It is important to say that not smoking should also extend after the surgery, at least for some weeks. Still, the most important opinion remains that of your doctor. Having this surgery could be the beginning of a new time, and you can use this motive to quit smoking altogether.


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