Why Do I Have to Quit Smoking for Plastic Surgery?

tummy tuck, Lubbock

Don’t worry. You’re human like the rest of us. It’s completely natural to picture the end result of plastic surgery more than the process. But without a healthy healing process, the end result may not be what you hoped for. That’s why quitting smoking, at least temporarily, is essential. The addictive ingredient in cigarettes–nicotine–can have detrimental effects on the body and can slow the healing process or even be life threatening post-surgery. Here’s what you need to know when considering a smoking-cessation plan for plastic surgery.

Nicotine Constricts the Blood Vessels

Certain surgery procedures can be even more affected by nicotine than others. For example, when getting a tummy tuck, surgeons must cut a portion of the blood supply from some tissue to move it from its original location to another for improving function, appearance, or sometimes both. Nicotine shrinks blood vessels, however, which limits the flow of blood to the area. This is counterproductive as it can cause destruction and death of the tissue as well as necrosis in some cases.

More Effects of Nicotine

The effects of nicotine don’t stop with blood flow restrictions. In addition to putting nicotine users at risk of oxygen shortage in the body, patients could also experience blood clots, and are at a much higher risk of developing an infection as well.

Smoking Cessation Timeline

Dr. Jane Rowley recommends her Lubbock plastic surgery patients stop all nicotine products (not just cigarettes) for six weeks before surgery and two to three weeks after to ensure they are getting the proper blood flow and oxygen needed to heal properly.

It may not be easy, but it’s worth it. If a nicotine-using patient is committed to stopping use for the required amount of time before and after surgery, then she will more likely see desirable results. Dr. Jane Rowley’s recommendations come from extensive medical training and board certification, as well as over two decades of medical practice, making her, the most experienced plastic surgeon in Lubbock. Call today for your no-obligation consultation to discuss your desired result and learn about the expert care you can expect from Rowley Plastic Surgery.

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