Most people considering a tummy tuck at our Cypress or Houston, TX, plastic surgery practice come prepared with many questions and want to know how this popular body contouring procedure will improve their daily lives. In addition to transforming your physique, a tummy tuck offers several other benefits and provides an opportunity to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
In particular, people who smoke need to stop smoking before having a tummy tuck, which is lso known as abdominoplasty. By breaking the smoking habit before having surgery, patients can jump start smoking cessation, which benefits their overall health. In fact, a study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons confirms that having a cosmetic surgery procedure can actually help people stop or reduce smoking.
How does smoking affect a tummy tuck?
Many people ask me why they shouldn’t smoke before a tummy tuck. In fact, a reader on RealSelf.com asks, “Will smoking as few as 2 or 3 cigarettes a day have an effect on my tummy tuck?
The answer is, definitively, Yes. In fact, smoking before many types of surgery can be problematic.
The nicotine in cigarettes and other products effectively thickens the blood and reduces blood flow. These side effects of smoking greatly increase the risk of post-surgical complications. Nicotine in the blood makes it harder for your body to heal, and incisions can re-open during recovery. Additionally, with reduced blood flow, tissue can actually die, a serious condition called necrosis. Smoking before or after surgery can cause infection in the body because nicotine impairs the immune system.
No smoking allowed
Because of the risks associated with smoking, I require patients to be tobacco-free for 4 to 6 weeks before their surgery date. Additionally, we perform a urine nicotine test prior to surgery to make sure the effects of the nicotine are gone. And to provide the highest level of patient safety, I will not perform a tummy tuck (an elective procedure) on an active smoker. I recommend that patients not smoke after surgery as well.
We understand it’s hard to kick the smoking habit, so we suggest that smokers who want to schedule a tummy tuck see their primary care physician to get formal assistance with a smoking cessation program.
As you probably know, quitting nicotine is not only important for your tummy tuck, it’s good for you in many other ways. If you smoke, consider cessation as the first step to getting the flatter abdomen you desire.
To see your potential with tummy tuck surgery, visit our photo gallery of before-and-after photos.
If want to know more about abdominoplasty, I can meet with you personally to discuss the procedure. Simply contact us, and we’ll be happy to schedule a consultation.