Smoking no good before or after cosmetic surgery
Everybody knows that smoking tobacco products of any type is not good for you. Rates of smoking in the US have come down but still 30% of the population smokes.
It is important for patients to stop smoking before and after any cosmetic plastic surgery. See below
Most Board certified plastic surgeons will not even perform some surgeries like face lift if patients smoke; we know the disaster that could happen with smokers and facial surgery.
I require my patients to stop smoking for at least 7 days before and 7 days after any cosmetic surgery. The longer the better.
Bad effects of smoking cosmetic surgery
Lung cancer is an obvious cause of smoking. Smoking also damages your skin making you look old. For plastic surgeons though, effects of smoking are much more immediate and important for the results you want.
All tobacco products create tar when burned. That is a dark, gooey material you can squeeze out of filters. It is also what lines your lungs. With cosmetic surgery needing general anesthesia, tar build up makes it more difficult for your lungs to clear normal secretions caused by anesthesia. You end up coughing more, and creating even more secretions. Coughing after plastic surgery increases your blood pressure and the risk of bleeding. It also hurts!
The main drug effect of tobacco is due to Nicotine. The high from smoking is due to nicotine. All types of tobacco products including electronic cigarettes have nicotine. Of course chewing tobacco does not give you tar.
This drug causes a number of effects; both a stimulant and a relaxant.
It will increase glucose and adrenalin in the blood and cause stimulation. It increases brain concentration and memory and decreases appetite and pain. It also increases Dopamine ( a brain neurotransmitter) which is involved in enhancing our brain’s perception of pleasure and relaxation. It make you feel good. Sounds like the perfect drug to give to patients after surgery! However it also acts a an arterial vasoconstrictor. It cuts down on the blood supply to the skin. In fact, each cigarette will decrease the blood supply to the skin 50% for 10 minutes. Imagine having an elastic band tied around your finger for 10 minutes. Your finger would not be happy! If you have 3 cigarettes that is 30 min etc. … Wounds that do not get blood will not heal and will fall apart with dead skin and tissues. Not good.
How to stop smoking before plastic surgery
Stopping smoking before and after surgery is important . But, how to stop smoking before plastic surgery is a not so easy. Get past the first three days and the rest is a breeze.
The trick to stopping smoking is to substitute the rewards that your brain has come to associate with nicotine. Every time you think of a cigarette, you will need do something else to substitute for the pleasure you had previously from nicotine.