How Smoking Affects Plastic Surgery Results

January 07, 2020
A woman smoking

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Marcus H. Crawford takes time to explain the importance of pre-op and post-op instructions to all patients. By following these instructions, patients can ensure optimal healing times and the most ideal surgical results.

One of the key things that Dr. Crawford stresses to patients throughout the Atlanta and Marietta area is to avoid smoking and tobacco products before and after their procedure. Nicotine can have serious negative effects on patients. Let’s take a moment to consider the impact that smoking has on cosmetic surgery outcomes.

How Smoking Affects Your Body

Smoking is bad for you, there’s no disputing that. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, tobacco products cause an estimated 7 million deaths worldwide each year; roughly 16 million Americans are currently living with an illness caused by smoking.

In addition to harming your heart and lungs, smoking can also harm your looks. Smoking leads to restricted blood flow, which translates into a lower oxygen supply to the skin. This causes the skin the dry out, wrinkles to form, and damage to the collagen and elastin in the underlying layers of your skin.

The Negative Effects of Smoking Before Surgery

We tell patients to quit smoking in the weeks before surgery in order to ensure good blood flow and circulation throughout the body. It’s a way of preparing your body for surgery and the healing process.

Why You Shouldn’t Smoke While Healing from Surgery

After undergoing plastic surgery, patients should continue to abstain from smoking. If you smoke too soon after surgery, you can increase your risk of infection and slow down your overall healing time. This could result in surgical complications that seriously impact the final cosmetic outcomes.

The Long-Term Impact of Smoking on Your Appearance

Even if you wait several weeks after surgery to resume smoking, you’re going to undermine the best efforts of your cosmetic surgeon. Smoking will continue to dry out skin, cause wrinkles, and destroy collagen and elastin in the process. That means sagging skin that ages prematurely. Smoking, in effect, undoes the benefits of surgery.

The Bottom Line: Kick the Habit for Your Health and Looks

The best thing you can do to ensure your looks for the long run is to quit smoking and the use of tobacco products. Not only will you look better, but your general health will be greatly improved as well.

Quitting cigarettes is often easier said than done, but there is hope. Plenty of resources are available if you discuss the matter with your general practitioner.

Can Getting Plastic Surgery Help People Quit Smoking?

It sounds odd, but there may be something to it.

According to a long-term follow-up study from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), cosmetic surgery patients at least cut back on cigarettes. The 47 respondents were interviewed. Prior to surgery, 42 were daily smokers. Five years later, 40 percent no longer smoked daily, and nearly one-fourth had not smoked at all following surgery.

Learn More About Plastic Surgery

If you would like more information about ensuring good surgical results that last as long as possible, be sure to contact Crawford Plastic Surgery. Our team is here to help you look your best.

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