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Can I Have Breast Enhancement Surgery if I Smoke or Vape?
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While smoking cigarettes isn’t as popular as it once was, vaping has taken the younger generation by storm.
For young women who want to increase the size of their breasts with implants, reduce their size with a reduction, or have them lifted, smoking or vaping can complicate their plastic surgery in the worst way.
All Nicotine Products Increase Risks Associated With Breast Surgery
Breast implant surgery, breast reduction and breast lift procedures all involve surgery, and nicotine use can cause severe complications during and after the procedure.
When your surgeon instructs you to cut out all nicotine products starting from around one month before surgery until at least one month after surgery, he/she is doing so because they are concerned about your overall health and the quality of your results.
7 Ways Nicotine Complicates Surgery
- Smokers have a 30 percent higher risk of developing infections after surgery.
- Smokers carry twice the risk of developing pneumonia.
- Smokers have an 80 percent higher risk of heart attack and are 70 percent more likely to experience a stroke.
- After breast reconstruction, 35 percent of nicotine users experienced wound-related complications, compared to only 13 percent of non-nicotine users.
- In 40 percent, the surgical sites of patients who continued to smoke before and after a breast reduction procedure displayed impaired healing.
- Smokers carry over twice the overall risk of complications as those who do not use nicotine.
- Smokers have a 38 percent higher mortality rate after surgery than non-smokers.
Researchers have also concluded that smoking is a significant risk factor for the development of postoperative complications.
How to Quit Smoking Before a Surgical Procedure
Don’t use nicotine patches, gum, or any product that contains nicotine within four weeks of surgery (before and after).
The American Cancer Society has these suggestions to help you quit before surgery:
- Pick the date and mark it on your calendar.
- Decide if you will cut down or quit cold turkey.
- Get rid of all the cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of employment.
- Stock up sugarless gum, carrot sticks, straws, toothpicks, or anything that will help you quit.
- Make a quitting plan. Since you can’t use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), you may want to consider other medicines like Bupropion or Varenicline (Chantix). Be sure to start well in advance of your surgery if you do.
- Sign up for a stop-smoking class.
- Cut out triggers to your nicotine use, such as drinking alcohol or coffee.
- Tell friends and family about your Quit Day.
- Choose or create a support system; this could be Nicotine Anonymous or a friend or family member who has quit smoking successfully.
- Ask those you know who still smoke not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out where you can see them.
- Think back to your past attempts to quit, and retry what worked.
An Old Trick
One method that is sometimes effective is to put all your cigarette butts into a jar of water with a tight lid. After you quit, take the top off the jar and smell the cigarette water when you have a craving.
That may be enough to rid yourself of the desire and remind you why you are quitting.
Using Your Surgery to Quit Smoking for Good
Now that you have a plan to quit prior to your surgery, why not give up the habit forever? This can be an excellent opportunity for you to look better and feel better at the same time!
Breast Enhancement Surgery in Phoenix, AZ
Dr. Steven Turkeltaub is a breast surgery specialist in Scottsdale who serves the Greater Phoenix area.
If you are interested in any kind of breast enhancement surgery, you can contact us either by calling our office at (480) 451-3000 or by email.