When can i start smoking after tummy tuck?

Smoking post/prior to surgery

Nicotine is nicotine. You should avoid all nicotine and nicotine containing products. It is easier said than done, in particular when the recommendation comes from a non-smoker, but the advice is still valid. The use of nicotine before surgery dramatically increases your risk of infection and skin necrosis after surgery. (Eric Desman, MD, Alexandria Plastic Surgeon)

Tummy Tucks and Nicotine

Nicotine is a very powerful drug that can cause blood vessels to constrict until they are very narrow. Fewer red blood cells flow through those narrowed vessels, and red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues.

skin necrosis after tummy tuck surgery if smoking

Wounds need a lot of oxygen to heal, so that’s one reason to be nicotine-free. But there’s another reason. During a tummy tuck, an incision is made low across the tummy, and then the skin/fat layer is lifted up off the muscle layer. This cutting and lifting results in divided blood vessels. That means there is less blood flowing to the tissues.

Now, if you add nicotine to the picture, two things can happen. The wounds can open up and take a long time to heal, but more concerning is that some of the skin/fat layer can die (“necrose”). That could mean a large patch of dead tissue that needs to be cleaned up, even skin grafted.

Smoking is an absolute contraindication for tummy tuck

I describe this picture to my smoker patients as I ask them to stay off all forms of nicotine for 6 weeks before surgery until 6 weeks after.

I explain that I will do everything in my power to give them the best result possible, and I expect that they’ll be just as committed to do the same. (See link below.)

A tummy tuck is an elective surgery, so there is no reason to accept avoidable risk factors.If they can’t quit, I recommend they see their primary care doctor for help.

I’ve had patients come in a year, two years, even five years later to tell me they’ve finally quit, and their ready for surgery! (Heather J. Furnas, MD, Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon)

Smoking and Tummy Tucks

use of nicotine increases your risk of infection

Smoking is an absolute contraindication for undergoing a conventional tummy tuck. The nicotine and other chemicals within the cigarette adversely affect the blood supply to the tissue treated during surgery. You can have skin breakdown, death and bad scarring. In the end, if you want to look better and get a good result – stop smoking. (Robert M. Freund, MD, New York Plastic Surgeon)

You should avoid all nicotine

You should avoid all nicotine prior to your tummy tuck as it slows down the healing process. If you are unable to do this your should notify your plastic surgeon. (Martin Jugenburg, MD, Toronto Plastic Surgeon)

Smoking post/prior to tummy tuck surgery.

It is very important that you avoid nicotine and all forms prior to tummy tuck surgery. This includes gum, patches, E cigarette and any other form of nicotine.Avoiding nicotine in any form is crucial to 7 weeks before your tummy tuck surgery. If you’re unable to do this you must notify your plastic surgeon. (Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS, Boston Plastic Surgeon)