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17 Nov

How long before surgery should I stop smoking?

While planning a plastic surgery, most of us would get scared and even get panic attacks thinking about what could happen and what consequences it has on us. So, to deal with the stress, we get the help from cigarettes and smoke heavily. While it may look like smoking has no connection with surgery, the truth is that it has a very strong association in just not merely triggering post-surgical complications, but also making the surgical procedure much more difficult.

Surgeons often ask questions related to smoking so they can give suggestions accordingly. Quitting smoking prior to surgery is extremely important to prevent the deleterious effects on our body cells. Of course, it also depends on the chosen surgical procedure.

Cigarettes are high in nicotine. This increases the release of a pituitary hormone known as vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone), causing the blood vessels to dilate significantly. If the vasodilation is prolonged, localized reduction of blood flow will occur. As a result, it will prolong the healing process.

In surgical procedures, blood supply is always important. As the blood supply during the procedure is lacking at the surgical site, maximizing and maintaining sufficient blood supply to the tissues will be critical.

In a Cochrane Database of Systematic Review in 2014, it has been proved that stopping smoking four weeks before surgery can lower the post-operative risks. However, it also has been suggested that smoking should be avoided up to 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. The longer you stay away from nicotine, the better you will recover.

If it is very difficult not to smoke, doctors can recommend nicotine replacement therapy or counseling sessions. In a study, two groups have been given the nicotine replacement therapy with or without counseling. The group who had a counseling session along with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) had only fewer complications, whereas those who didn’t get the counseling session with NRT had more complications and a slower recovery.

Reasons to say goodbye to smoking before plastic surgery

There are multiple reasons that every smoker should know about how detrimental smoking can be for the surgery, such as:

1. Adverse effects to anesthesia

2. Heart will work harder

3. Prolonged wound healing

4. Increased infections risks (e.g. Pneumonia)

5. Bad scars

Quitting cigarettes at least four weeks before plastic surgery is the best way to prevent costly risks and dangers to your health. From breast augmentation surgery to tummy tucks, smoking should be kicked out of your life to achieve the best results you desire.

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