In my previous post I addressed the fact that being a smoker is essentially a
deal-breaker for most plastic surgeons when a patient is looking to move forward
with a procedure. Read that post to understand some of the reasons why.
Is there any way to work around this if cosmetic surgery is really what you
The best-case scenario is to quit smoking completely before you have surgery of
any kind. That’s the best strategy for getting you safely through surgery, the
recovery process, and for your overall health. But even if you’re not going to quit
entirely, we tell our patients that they must give up smoking for at least four
weeks before the procedure so that most of the deleterious effects of smoking
have time to reverse themselves. You must also stay off cigarettes for at least
four to six weeks after surgery so that your skin receives enough blood supply to
After six weeks, your incisions should be healed, but if you want the scar to look
its best, you should stop smoking cigarettes for the remainder of the healing
process. Your scar is continually healing for up to a year or longer after surgery.
Due to a lack of oxygen being delivered to the area that is healing, the scar could
end up looking worse than it would have if you hadn’t smoked.
It’s Really That Important…
Smoking before surgery is such an important issue, and the effects can be so
damaging that we can’t just take the patients’ word that they’ve stayed away from
cigarettes for the minimum amount of time. Unfortunately, sometimes, people will
mislead their doctors so they can still have the surgery they want. In our practice,
we use a urine test called the cotinine test to tell us whether there’s still nicotine
in a person’s body. Nicotine from one cigarette can stay in the body for up to a week or longer and can be detected by this test. If a patient has a positive cotinine test, we will cancel the procedure.
The best choice for you and your health is to quit. Learn effective ways to
overcome this habit and prepare for the body you want by getting your copy of, “Making the Cut” available for purchase on Amazon.