Why Must I Stop Smoking Before Plastic Surgery?

The day of your plastic surgery consultation is finally here and you can barely contain your excitement as you head to your surgeon’s office.  You get there, discuss the procedure you want to have, and are amped over the results that are possible.  Naturally, you want to schedule your surgery as soon as possible as you’ve wanted to make certain aesthetic improvements for quite some time.  Then, a wrench gets thrown into your plans.  You’re told you have to stop smoking before plastic surgery or else the surgeon will not perform your desired procedure.  Obviously, this delay is not something you expected, but it is absolutely necessary.

How Long Must You Quit?

The time that you must quit smoking before plastic surgery will vary according to each surgeon’s recommendations.  However, the majority of cosmetic surgeons will tell you that you must not only give up cigarettes for 4 to 6 weeks prior to surgery, but also after.  The absolute minimum is 2 weeks, but most plastic surgeons will suggest a longer time frame to ensure their patients are not at risk of unnecessary complications.

No Quitting, No Surgery

If you do not stop smoking for the time that your plastic surgeon has advised, don’t be surprised if he or she will not perform your procedure.  Over the course of the past 10 years, most plastic surgeons have come to the consensus that when skin has to be moved during a procedure such as a breast lift or face lift, they will not operate on smokers.  The reason; failure to quit smoking before surgery can lead to disastrous results and in areas where surgery is performed, the skin may become discolored, turn red, or darken.

In an interview with the New York Times on the topic of patients and pre-surgery smoking, Dr. Darshan Shah said, “Nicotine causes the tiny blood vessels in the skin to clamp down or constrict, which reduces blood supply to the skin.”  Aside from discoloration, smokers seeking surgery could fail to heal properly after procedures, have an increased risk of infection, take longer to recover, and may develop unattractive red scars.

Tips to Quit Smoking before Plastic Surgery

Within two weeks’ time, the toxins and nicotine that have accumulated in your body from smoking will be cleansed from your system.  Even though your body has rebounded, your desire to smoke may still be present and so it is advised that you have strategies in place to help you.  One thing you can do is keep your mind on your goal to have plastic surgery.  Envision how great you’re going to look and feel afterward and hold that vision any time you feel tempted to have a cigarette.

Another recommendation is to keep your mouth busy.  Gum, hard candy, and lozenges are tasty and can drastically reduce your chances of turning to smoking.  Finally, rally your close family and friends to get support.  Tell them about your desire to have plastic surgery and ask them to encourage you to remain smoke-free.  When you’re feeling the urge to smoke, you can call on your friends and family to distract and motivate you.  Having their support and encouragement can truly make a world of difference.

Further Reinventing Your Body with Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss

ABC News released an article which revealed that 108 million people are on a diet each year in the United States and that 220,000 people sought bariatric surgery in 2009 in an attempt to get rid of excess weight.  With these numbers being so high, it is quite apparent that weight loss is a major issue in our country and many people struggle with the numbers they see on the scale.  In some cases, people will habitually diet and try a variety of exercise programs only to lose the weight and gain it back, or give up and start all over again.  Yet, there are a plethora of cases where people actually make the commitment, stick to it, and reach their target weight.  In these cases, much is to be celebrated as individuals have set off on the road to better health and well-being.

Excess Skin, an Underlying Issue

If you’ve recently lost a lot of weight and reached your weight loss goal, we congratulate you and your achievement.  However, if you’re like many others who have lost a great deal of weight, even though you’ve shed the pounds, you may be confronting another battle; excess skin. 
It is very common for people who lose a significant amount of weight to be left with sagging skin and fat.  The reason for this is that your skin’s elasticity has been stretched due to the weight you were once carrying on your body.  Even though your body is smaller now, your skin cannot “bounce back” as its elasticity is diminished and will remain stretched.  You may notice that skin around your arms is loose, the skin surrounding your mid-section may droop around your sides and lower back, your thighs and the area around your lower buttocks may dip, and if you’re a woman your breasts may hang lower than you’d like.  At a time when you should be feeling on top of the world and ecstatic about how you look, your excess skin may make you feel less than confident about your new body.

Continuing Your Journey toward a Better Appearance

Thankfully, your journey toward looking and feeling better can continue if you choose to further reinvent your body by undergoing plastic surgery after weight loss procedures such as a tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, breast lift, or even body lift.  These surgical procedures are excellent options after weight loss as they not only remove excess skin and fat, but also improve the overall shape and tone of the tissue that supports your skin.  After these surgeries are performed, you will have smoother, tighter skin, improved body shape, and a boost in confidence.

Your journey doesn’t have to stop after your surgery, either.  Once you’ve recovered and are given permission from your plastic surgeon, you can implement an exercise program to make further gains to your appearance.  A balanced exercise regime that includes cardio and strength straining will tighten connective tissue under your skin and improve your muscle tone, allowing you to take your physique to the next level.  With a combination of plastic surgery and regular exercise, you’ll not only look better, you’ll feel better, too.