Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery
By Michael A. Devlin, MD on February 04, 2015
Smoking before Cosmetic Surgery is a disaster waiting to happen. I tell my patients to quit smoking for six weeks before surgery and six weeks after surgery.
Why? Simply stated, smoking causes wound healing complications.
– Perhaps the entire incision doesn’t heal.
– Perhaps the tissue that has been stitched dies.
– Perhaps the incision does heal but with a poorer scar.
– You will heal slower.
I routinely nicotine test my patients several times before surgery and I will nicotine test my patients the DAY of surgery!
Because this issue is so important to me, I have been known to cancel a patient the day of surgery because of a failed Nicotine test.
I also will randomly nicotine tests patients during their six weeks recovery period.
I recently had a tummy tuck patient who had one small area of his incision that was slower to heal. I ended up treating this area of her incision for several extra weeks. He stopped smoking at my request prior to surgery. However, when he failed a nicotine test at a post operative appointment, she admitted the truth. I once again explained that smoking causes healing issues. It really does! It is difficult to understand this concept and believe that smoking has such a tremendous impact on healing, however, time and time again smokers prove to have more complicated postoperative courses.
I tell patients this all of the time. For elective surgeries, YOU have a choice. I strive to for you to have the best results. This is not only about surgical skill and techniques but also about patient education.
Michael Devlin, M.D.
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