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For years now, we all have heard and seen warnings about the health dangers of smoking. Smoking is responsible for approximately 20 percent of all deaths annually in America, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using tobacco in any form increases your risk of certain cancers, including cancer of the stomach, lung, esophagus, mouth, and throat. If you smoke and are planning to undergo any type of surgery—including an elective procedure like plastic surgery—then you have even more reason to try and quit the habit as soon as possible. One of Manhattan’s top-female plastic surgeons Dr. Aviva Preminger is here to explain the importance of stopping smoking before having plastic surgery.

Smokers face a higher risk of complications during and after surgery

When you smoke, it constricts blood vessels, lowering the oxygen levels available to blood cells. This hinders the ability to heal surgical wounds. Smokers are more vulnerable to an assortment of potentially serious post-surgery complications, such as wound separation, inflamed scars, and skin death—also known as skin necrosis. Smokers also are more likely to develop an infection after surgery and have complications under the effects of anesthesia. Smokers who have surgery also are more likely to require being admitted to intensive care following an operation, stay in the hospital for longer periods of time, get re-admitted to the hospital, and even die during or after an operation.

Smokers also usually require more anesthesia prior to surgery, according to the results of a 2015 research study, which also noted a 23 percent uptick in the use of pain medication by smokers after surgery. The findings of the study also determined an influence upon individuals who do not smoke but are exposed to secondhand smoke—specifically, needing 20 percent more anesthesia and 18 percent more pain medication.

Smoking can derail a plastic surgery because of the effect on blood supply

Proper blood flow is crucial during the recovery from any type of surgery, but it is quite vital for patients who undergo plastic surgery. Any cosmetic surgical procedure involves moving tissue or skin to achieve the desired aesthetic results while taking care to leave enough blood vessels intact to maintain blood flow to the treated area. If you smoke, and blood flow to that area of skin is hindered, the tissue may not heal correctly or even die. 

Using tobacco in any form—including vaping—is not safe before or after surgery. In fact, vaping with nicotine actually is worse for surgery patients than smoking tobacco. Any use of nicotine constricts blood vessels, restricts blood flow, and increases the likelihood of a blood clot developing. All of these issues can be dire in a patient who is recovering from surgery. 

Stop Smoking in Manhattan

If you are interested in having plastic surgery, then you should stop smoking. At Preminger Plastic Surgery we recognize this is not easy. You may need to use a nicotine replacement product such as a patch or nicotine gum, but other options are available such as prescription inhalers and even nasal sprays. However, you should curtail the use of any of these nicotine replacements before surgery and refrain from using them during the post-op healing process, as they contain the nicotine that leads to so many risks.

You also can seek prescription drugs to help curtail smoking, such as Zyban, Wellbutrin, and Chantix. Be sure to tell your plastic surgeon about all the medicines you are taking, whether they be prescription or over-the-counter, during your consultation. This is the optimum time to ask any questions you may have about the procedure. Dr. Preminger will review all your medical history thoroughly to identify any potential complications.

Many board-certified plastic surgeons in Manhattan like Dr. B. Aviva Preminger have strict protocols for patients who smoke and are seeking cosmetic surgical work. Dr. Preminger highly recommends that any patient who undergoes a surgical procedure from her cease smoking before the surgery—usually recommending they be smoke-free for at least four weeks prior to the operation, and four weeks after. This will make sure your plastic surgery has the desired results and, hopefully, will help you stop smoking once and for all.

One of the Top-Rated Plastic Surgeons in Manhattan

To learn more about our policies or any of the procedures we perform at Preminger Plastic Surgery, please contact our office by calling (866) 201-9828 to schedule a consultation.

Located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Preminger Plastic Surgery is proud to offer world-class services in plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures to patients throughout New York City.

Posted on behalf of Preminger Plastic Surgery

969 Park Ave., Suite 1E
New York, NY 10028

Phone: (212) 706-1900


Monday - Friday
9:00 - 5:00

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If you are ready to make a change to your appearance, choose the best plastic surgeon and cosmetic team for your procedure. Aviva Preminger, MD Aesthetic Plastic Surgery offers intricate procedures to reshape the face, breasts and body, as well as rejuvenating treatments to look your best at every age.

Contact us today at our office in Manhattan to schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Preminger and begin your journey to feeling and looking your best!

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