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If you have been smoking cigarettes or tobacco for several years, you should be aware of how this affects you as a candidate for plastic surgery. Smoking has an impact on far more than just your lungs; it also affects your veins, which tend to contract and reduce the oxygen supply to the rest of your body.

Many plastic surgery procedures involve incisions that are used to remove loose skin which are then sutured back together. These incisions need to safely heal in order to produce a patient’s desired results. If you are a smoker, the reduced supply of oxygen in your body may cause your skin to improperly heal or even lead to wound healing problems, affecting the outcome of your procedure and your own health.

Patients who are smokers and are considering a cosmetic procedure should consult with our experienced plastic surgeons at Marietta Plastic Surgery to better understand the risks of surgery. We can help you determine if the procedure you are interested in is right for you.

Four Ways Smoking Affects Plastic Surgery

If you are a smoker who is considering plastic surgery, you will need to completely stop smoking for a minimum of four to eight weeks prior to surgery. When a surgical candidate eliminates smoking for four to eight weeks prior to surgery, the following risks can be decreased:

  • Skin breakdown – Smoking compromises your circulation.
  • Lack of healing – Smoking will lead to delayed or improper healing during the recovery process.
  • Infection – The rate of post-surgery infection is as high as 12% in smokers, compared to a modest 2% in non-smokers.
  • Scarring – Impaired healing may lead to skin loss or flap necrosis.

You will also need to avoid smoking for an extended period after the surgery in order to allow your body to heal properly. As everyone heals at different rates and carries a different medical history, we will determine the total length of time you will need to abstain from smoking after a thorough examination and consultation.

If you would like to learn more about the complications of smoking upon your cosmetic surgery procedure, please contact our board-certified* plastic surgeons today. Marietta Plastic Surgery serves the Atlanta area with offices in Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia.

* = Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

† = Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery

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