It has long been suggested that smokers give the habit up well in advance of their plastic surgery procedure. In recent years, this has led some smokers to turn to e-cigarettes as an alternative method of nicotine delivery. However, while e-cigarettes may reduce some of the health risks associated with smoking tobacco, they too need to be given up prior to plastic surgery. As it turns out it’s the nicotine, not the thousands of other chemicals in cigarette smoke, which complicates surgical recovery.
As a vasoconstrictor, nicotine impacts proper blood flow to your body’s organs, including the skin. When blood flow is reduced, recovery time is slowed and the potential for visible scaring and poor wound healing is increased. Researchers have found that people who quit smoking at least four weeks prior to their plastic surgery procedure reduce potential risks by as much as 40%. But if “quitting” is actually just switching to e-cigarettes, risks are not reduced at all. This same thing applies to all nicotine replacement methods including gums and patches, though e-cigarettes also contain other potentially harmful chemicals in their vapor that may combine to further slow or complicate recovery. For this reason, patients are strongly encouraged to stop smoking through methods that eliminate nicotine entirely.
Your Role in Plastic Surgery Results
Board-certified Indianapolis plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph Fata has years of experience helping men and women reach their aesthetic goals through targeted surgical treatments. However, even a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon cannot guarantee good results if you do not follow all pre and postoperative instructions – eliminating nicotine among them.
Pre and postoperative instructions are intended to protect you against infection, longer recovery periods, highly visible scarring, and other complications. They need to be followed precisely to help protect your health and ensure positive results. If you are a smoker, giving up nicotine at least a month before your procedure and continuing to refrain throughout your entire recovery period is absolutely essential for your ultimate satisfaction. This, along with other preparatory steps, will be discussed in greater detail during your initial consultation at our Indianapolis plastic surgery office.
If you are considering a cosmetic procedure in Indiana, please contact Renaissance Plastic Surgery online or by calling 317-575-9152 today. Our plastic surgeon serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.