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Should Smokers Get Plastic Surgery?

Posted April 1, 2022 in Plastic Surgery Candidates, Plastic Surgery Preparation

3 Minute Read: 

We all have heard about the dangers of smoking. However, just because you choose to smoke, does that mean that you aren’t able to have plastic surgery? 

Well, it’s a complicated answer that will be explored below, but the short answer is that men and women who are looking to improve their physical aesthetic should quit smoking before and after their cosmetic surgery procedure

Not only are there many health risks and complications that arise for smokers during and after their plastic surgery, but smoking can adversely affect plastic surgery recovery and results. 

Doctor breaking a cigarette in half while seated at a desk

What Are the Health Risks of Smoking for Plastic Surgery Patients?

While it may be easier said than done, it is strongly recommended that potential plastic surgery patients quit smoking (which includes vaping and other nicotine products) at least six weeks prior to their procedure(s) and remain free of nicotine for at least six weeks after their surgery. 

While not every cosmetic surgery patient who smokes will face complications during their procedure, there is a much higher chance for risks.

These include:

  • Blood clots
  • Infection 
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Tissue necrosis and gangrene (which is the premature loss of tissue cells) 

One of the main reasons for the increased risk of these complications during and after plastic surgery is the fact that the nicotine found in cigarettes causes your blood vessels to constrict. 

This leads to more limited blood circulation throughout the body. Essentially, you will not have enough healthy blood cells and blood flow for your body to properly heal from the plastic surgery incision

It is important to realize that cosmetic surgery is a controlled injury to your body, and regardless of the type of surgical procedure you have performed, you want your body to be as healthy as possible so that you don’t face any complications with your procedure, recovery, or results.

How Does Smoking Affect Recovery and Results? 

No one wants to go through the trouble of having a plastic surgery procedure only to have a long and strenuous recovery or, even worse, problematic side effects. 

Because nicotine shrinks blood vessels, which negatively affects blood circulation, your body isn’t able to heal itself as fully or quickly. This prolongs the healing/recovery period and also increases the pain and discomfort felt during the recovery. 

While your plastic surgery recovery is slowed down when you smoke, the quality of results is also adversely affected. Smoking increases the chance of developing wider and more visible scars and fat necrosis (damaged fat tissue that appears as hard bumps beneath the skin).

Surgeons operating on a patient in an operating room.

What Cosmetic Surgery Procedures Are Offered?

While Dr. Robert J. Spies is dedicated to giving you the plastic surgery results you desire, his first priority is your health and safety. 

Because of this, it is important that you take the necessary precautions before your procedure, including pausing or stopping your smoking habit. 

Dr. Spies is proud to offer a variety of face and body contouring procedures, which includes:

Do You Want More Information?

If you want to know more about how smoking affects plastic surgery procedures or if you have any questions about the procedures Dr. Spies offers, feel free to call (480) 359-1019 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.

Contact Us Today

Dr. Spies is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and highly experienced in breast lift surgery for over 35 years. If interested in undergoing this procedure, please feel free to call 480-359-1019 to schedule a consultation.

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Dr. Spies' office is located in Paradise Valley, Arizona just adjacent to the Paradise Valley Cosmetic Surgery Center


Robert J. Spies, M.D.
5410 N Scottsdale Rd C 100
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Tel: 480-359-1019