Why Nicotine and Plastic Surgery Don’t Mix

Posted on March 15, 2017 by: Dr. Rocheford

Are you considering plastic surgery in Minneapolis? If so, it is important that you are aware that nicotine use is a no-no. Although many people believe that smoking is the biggest problem, other substitutes that contain nicotine should also be avoided, including nicotine gum, patches chewing tobacco, pipes, cigars, and e-cigarettes. Read on to learn more about why nicotine can be a major problem when mixed with plastic surgery.

How Nicotine Affects the Body

Our tissues have blood vessels traveling throughout it, helping to carry oxygen which skin, fat, and muscle needs to survive. During plastic surgery procedures, such as a breast augmentation, some of the blood vessels are cut, while others are often left intact. When nicotine is added to the blood, the blood vessels that are left intact shrink, reducing blood flow and the amount of oxygen traveling to the tissue.

Nicotine can have an array of negative effects on the body during surgery, including:

  • Delayed healing of wounds
  • Blood clots
  • Death of fat cells
  • Loss of skin
  • Infections
  • Increased pain
  • Life-threatening complications like heart attack and stroke.

If you are planning on undergoing a plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure and are a smoker, it is important to quit before your surgery. Most plastic surgeons recommend quitting three to six weeks before surgery. It is also important to delay smoking until three to six weeks following surgery, though forever would be ideal.

If you are interested in plastic surgery in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, contact Rocheford Plastic Surgery today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rocheford.