Smoking Before or After Breast Surgery: Why it REALLY matters

Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery Patients: Risks

Is smoking really dangerous for cosmetic surgery patients?

Why is it NOT OKAY to smoke before OR after a breast augmentation, breast reduction or fat grafting to breasts? Or any other surgical procedure, elective or otherwise?

  • In today’s blog, we discuss Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery Risks.
  • Read why smoking before and after surgery REALLY matters, plus, learn about some innovative ways to quit.

Smoking at any stage is a NO NO for women planning their cosmetic surgery procedures.

Plus, there are many BENEFITS of quitting smoking well before your cosmetic surgery or breast augmentation date.

  • Non-smokers have fewer wound-related complications and far better skin healing processes – just one reason to quit!
  • Smokers are far LESS likely to heal well because their health and immunity are severely compromised by smoking and toxic chemicals in tobacco, nicotine and cigarette smoke (vaping and cannabis are NO exception)
  • This means NON SMOKERS are more likely to end up with less problematic recovery and a better looking scar (though this can vary)

The question cosmetic surgery patients need to ask themselves about smoking is this:

  • Why risk INVESTING in a cosmetic surgery procedure or breast augmentation for yourself
  • When you’re about to ruin it go well by taking a puff?

smoking-before-cosmetic-surgery-wound-breakdown-risks

You need to quit LONG before your surgery date, as it’ll be harder afterwards.

  • TIP: Opt out of ALL Vaping, electronic cigarettes and smoking tobacco before AND after surgery (ideally at least 3 months before and indefinitely afterwards)
    • Smoking habits are DANGEROUS for cosmetic surgery patients (breast augmentation patients included)
  • Why? Because smoking BEFORE or AFTER surgery can HARM your outcomes AND your health

Here’s how smoking can harm your breast surgery experience

Smoking can add to your existing complication risks due to poor nutritional levels in your bloodstreams, compromised lung functions and blood circulation issues (think DVTs, infection risks and Anaesthesia).

Plus, if you end up getting an infection after surgery – or other complication – these are likely to be WORSE, LONGER LASTING and MORE DIFFICULT to treat effectively THAN if you were a never smoker.

Can I quit AFTER my cosmetic surgery instead of before?

Don’t tell yourself you’ll quit after your procedure.

It’s FAR better to quit smoking BEFORE having cosmetic surgery than to think it’ll be easier afterwards.

Otherwise, during your surgery recovery period, you might be tempted to go back to smoking habits – out of boredom or due to feeling a bit emotional

  • You’re better off quitting well in advance and establishing your healthier lifestyle
  • There are many advantages to doing so, including that your journey will tend to be less prone to problems
  • We’ll discuss some innovative ways to QUIT smoking in our next blog, so please sign up for the e-newsletters and bookmark our blogs

Why is smoking before (or after) surgery a NO NO?

  • The reason smoking before or after surgery is forbidden is that inhalation of toxic particles into your lungs harms every single organ and neurological process in your body.
  • This includes reducing your immune responses and damaging your skin health – two functions you need in TOP WORKING to properly recover.

Here’s why NOT smoking DOES matter if you want a good result.

dangers-of-smoking-cosmetic-surgery-breast-augmentation-

ANY form of smoking BEFORE or AFTER your cosmetic surgery procedure – no matter what that is – is a definite NO NO. And that means, not even ONE cigarette a day. The truth is, there is NO safe level of smoke inhalation. Not even one.

Plus, here’s how smoking can affect your surgery results and harm your outcome AND your health.

Remember, this warning applies equally to smoking and/or vaping of any forms:

  • nicotine and tobacco
  • flavoured herbs
  • cannabis or other illicit drugs that are smoked or inhaled
  • haku bars
  • cigars
  • Smoking even increases your bruising risks and infection risks after having cosmetic facial injections.

Why is smoking a bad idea for cosmetic surgery patients?

Smoking harms your brain chemistry, your moods, your hormones, your fertility, your skin health, your retinal functions (eye sight), your dental health, your nasal passages, your lungs, your vocal chords, your blood circulation, your immune functions and more. It even down-regulated other substances and leads to co-addictions. All of which impact your likelihood of complications that could deter a good result.

The dangers of active smoking habits for cosmetic surgery patients

dangers-of-smoking-before-cosmetic-surgery-breast-implants - 10 reasons to quit

Smoking, Nicotine, Cannabis, Breast Surgery and Tummy Tucks: a sure-fire way to ruin your results and health.

Reasons Smoking is NOT OKAY for Cosmetic Surgery Patients

Breast Surgery or Abdominoplasty Patients should be aware:

1. Smoking DELAYS healing

2. INFECTION RISKS are longer lasting when healing is delayed

  • Slower WOUND HEALING means your vulnerability to INFECTIONS is extended
  • You could get a serious bacteria contamination or deadly staph infections
  • These are more difficult to correct with medications if you are still smoking

3. BLOOD CLOTs and DVT RISKS could be elevated

4.  NECROTIC BREAST or NIPPLE SKIN

  • Your blood cell functions, immunity functions and circulation are all harmed by smoking – even one cigarette a day isn’t OKAY
  • IF you smoke before or AFTER surgery, your skin could end up permanently disfigured by skin necrosis (tissue ischemia) linked with inadequate health of important healing organs (lungs, dermal tissues, kidneys, blood)
  • Read more about skin repair functions and smoking harms (collagen synthesis)

5. MEDICATION COSTS may be higher

  • DRUGS that are smoked tend to down-regulate the effects of other substances, including medications
  • This means they often WORK less well
  • Plus, if your smoking impacts your results, you could have to have REVISION surgery once you quit smoking – and that can get quite costly!

6. FITNESS goes down and EXERCISE lessens

  • Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) or breast surgery results require
  • good circulation
  • healthy lifestyle choices
  • stable weight
  • If your smoke-filled lungs discourage fitness behaviours, you could end up with cardiovascular illnesses or unwanted weight gain

7. IMMUNITY is LOWERED – your body is less likely to FIGHT off bad Bacteria

  • Breast implant surgery needs to be performed with sterility in mind
  • But bacteria – some good, some bad – is everywhere in the environment and in your body
  • IF you get contamination around your incision lines, your body will have difficulty fighting it if you continue to smoke (before or after surgery)
  • This could lead to serious systemic issues or life-threatening conditions

8.  BOTTOMING OUT – or LESS survival of FAT that is TRANSFERRED to breasts

  • If you’re getting breast augmentation and still smoking, your skin won’t be as healthy – this could lead to higher chances your implants might ‘bottom out’ prematurely due to lack of skin collagen (weaker skin)
  • If you have fat transfer to breasts, women who smoke will likely have LESS fat survival – meaning more costs, more operations and less success for that extra cleavage fat transfer

9.  Wasted MONEY

  • Smoking is also DAMAGING to your budget
  • Cigarettes, tobacco, e-cigarettes, vaping equipment and cannabis are expensive – (some are also illegal)
  • If you have a flatter tummy after Abdominoplasty or more shapely breasts after breast augmentation or breast reduction or uplift, wouldn’t you RATHER
  • buy new clothing? a better swimsuit?
  • swap cigarette funds for an overseas adventure instead?

10. QUITTING BEFORE Cosmetic Surgery can be a CATALYST for success

  • Wanting cosmetic surgery, and needing to quit smoking beforehand has helped many former-smokers to remain Non-smokers over the longer term (research links below)
  • This period of your surgery planning could be the BEST time to become inspired to quit for good
  • Seeking professional QUIT help can be of benefit and keep you on track
  • You are also potentially going to feel happier about yourself AFTER surgery, meaning more prone to want to improve your health at every level (this can vary but many patients discuss this in online cosmetic surgery forums)

Want to plan your surgery?

Contact us for information or review our handy PDF surgery guides. And stay tuned for our next helpful SURGERY PLANNING and RECOVERY blogs.


Except: “The reduced capacity for wound repair is a particular concern in patients undergoing plastic or reconstructive surgery. Compared with nonsmokers, smokers have a higher incidence of unsatisfactory healing after face-lift surgery, as well as a greater degree of complications following breast surgery.”


Journal Article and Scientific References about Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery

The influence of smoking on vitamin C status in adults. Authors: G SchectmanJ C Byrd, and H W Gruchow

Smoking and wound healing. Author: Silverstein P1.

Factors Affecting Wound Healing Author: S. Guo and L.A. DiPietro*

Smoking, Chronic Wound Healing, and Implications for Evidence-Based Practice Author: Jodi C. McDaniel, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor and Kristine K. Browning, PhD, Assistant Professor