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Why is it so Important to Stop Smoking After Surgery?

Posted June 25, 2014 in Plastic Surgery Advice

Smoking is never an easy habit to break, no matter who you are or how long you have been smoking. However, if you are considering ever getting plastic surgery as a smoker, you should think twice. The dangers to smokers are downright deadly, whether you realize it or not. How so?
Simply put, smoking after surgery or before threatens the outcome of plastic surgery by compromising the body’s ability to heal properly or quickly, as well as posing many serious health risks. According to (AAOS) American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; “Smoking has been identified as a significant risk factor for surgical site infection. Worse outcomes and more frequent complications have been found in smokers who have surgery.”

How many weeks before surgery should I quit smoking?

Quitting smoking after surgery is not enough, even though it is a natural time where you may not feel the cravings since you are in pain and possibly taking prescription medications. You should quit smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery of any kind, whether plastic surgery or mandatory surgery. Why? Smoking…

  • Gives you labored or difficult breathing during and after anesthesia
  • Can cause blood clots in your veins
  • Greatly increases risk of infection
  • Delays or prolongs healing of wounds, skin and bones
  • Reduces the effects of medications
  • Starves your heart of oxygen

Not to scare you, but smoking both right before and after surgery can be a deadly consequence. By reducing the oxygen supply that circulates through your body and to your heart, the nicotine speeds up your heart rate and blood pressure, causing it to work much harder. If there is not enough oxygen to support this extra need, your heart can go into cardiac arrest. Carbon monoxide also competes with the oxygen in your bloodstream, making it more difficult to reach those extremities. This can even impact your body during the surgery. Dr. Humberto Palladino makes sure to warn every patient about the real dangers of smoking as it relates to plastic surgery. His job is to ensure the safety of all of his clients.

Our top anesthesiologist also warns patients of the toll it can take on your body while under anesthesia. The anesthesia already puts stress on your body, so while you are unconscious, you will be under observation through a monitor. Smokers are more susceptible to problems because the body is less adaptable to the stress caused by anesthesia. Smoking also causes blood clots, prevents immune system wellness and impairs the healing of tissues, skin, bones and the wounds themselves.

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