Whether you are an occasional or heavy smoker, nicotine in any quantity or form must be stopped before considering breast surgery. This also applies to marijuana use. Please read the following policy carefully as it contains important details.
THE RISKS OF SMOKING BEFORE AND AFTER PLASTIC SURGERY
If you are a smoker thinking about plastic surgery you must stop smoking due to the complications that can arise with your surgery.
It’s important to note that the issues lay with nicotine, so cigarette and cigar alternatives must be avoided. Things like nicotine patches, chewing tobacco, nicotine gum, snuff, pipes, vaping, shisha and cannabis all need to be avoided. If you’re surrounded by friends or family who smoke, then send them outside and keep your distance while they do so.
We understand how difficult it is to stop smoking and thus require potential patients to quit 3 months before coming to see us in consultation. Once a surgical procedure is booked you must refrain from smoking and consuming nicotine for 4 weeks after, although it’d be best for you to find the strength to make it forever.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I SMOKE AND HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY?
You must stop smoking both before and after any procedure so that the risk of tissue death can be limited. If you continue to smoke before undergoing a breast procedure you are at risk of experiencing tissue death which can result in the nipples discolouring and turning black before being removed surgically. This sort of disastrous outcome is called tissue necrosis, and it’s something all smokers will be very keen to avoid when undergoing any plastic surgery procedure.
HOW DOES NICOTINE CAUSE TISSUE NECROSIS?
Adequate blood flow to the area of the body that has been operated on is vital during the recovery of a surgical procedure. It helps to ensure that recovery takes place as quickly and the best results possible are achieved. Nicotine and carbon monoxide can reduce or completely stop the blood flow to the operated part of the body causing tissues to suffer and potentially die.
OTHER PROBLEMS CAUSED BY MIXING NICOTINE WITH PLASTIC SURGERY:
- Prolonged healing time
- Death of fat cells (fat necrosis), which causes hard lumps
- Scars that are far more visible than usual
- Blood clots (which can be fatal)
- Increased pain
- Small vessel damage that can be permanent
- Loss of breast implants
- Increase in the likelihood of life-threatening complications (stroke, blood clots, heart attack and pneumonia)
THE RISKS OF MARIJUANA USE BEFORE PLASTIC SURGERY
Marijuana has a variety of effects on the body and it can affect how your body responds to anaesthesia. Since marijuana and anaesthesia both affect the central nervous system, people who use marijuana regularly may need different amounts of anaesthesia medicines.
Regular users of marijuana generally need larger doses of anaesthesia medicines in order to achieve the same degree of sedation. The higher anaesthesia dose required for regular marijuana users can lead to an increased risk of complications, such as decreased blood pressure and delayed awakening from anaesthesia.
Regular marijuana use can lead to other serious complications of anaesthesia. Inhaled marijuana can affect your lungs and increase phlegm, coughing, wheezing, and the risk of respiratory infections. These lung issues can lead to breathing problems during your aesthetic, such as increased airway sensitivity when the breathing tube is put into or taken out of the airway. This may feel like an asthma attack, with a sensation of difficulty breathing and decreased oxygen getting into the lungs. Regular users of marijuana can also have increased postoperative pain, which leads to higher opioid use during and after surgery. This puts regular marijuana users at risk for opioid use disorder after surgery.
STOP SMOKING BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE
If you struggle with quitting in the lead-up to your surgical procedure, then it’s best to be totally honest. We completely understand how difficult it can be, but your health and well-being are of utmost importance, so it’s far better to postpone a surgery than for you to keep it a secret and suffer potentially catastrophic results.