A doctor will prohibit smoking before and after plastic surgery. Specifically, smokers experience significant complications after facelift surgery. For this reason, a lot of doctors will not perform facelifts on recent smokers or people who use nicotine. We’ve written this post to explain the relationship between smoking and facelifts and why patients shouldn’t smoke if they are considering getting a facelift.
Smoking and Facelifts: The Procedure
A doctor performs a facelift on a patient to improve their jawline, neckline, and sagging skin. The procedure usually involves the doctor making incisions on either side of the face. These incisions are usually invisible and hidden in the hairline and behind the ear. The surgeon tightens and repositions underneath the skin and sutures the incisions together. These incisions are really important and can be one of the main determinants of a successful result. Basically, if the incisions do not heal well or there is an infection or another complication, the results of the facelift can be unsatisfactory. In the worse case scenario, it can be traumatic.
Smoking and Facelifts: Top Reasons To Avoid Smoking
At VIP, our top concern is patient safety. Therefore, we tell patients to stop smoking or stop using nicotine at least 14 days prior to surgery. We recommend to our patients who will be getting a facelift to cease nicotine usage for even longer. They also should not smoke until a few weeks after the facelift procedure. Why do we recommend this? Since one cigarette contains thousands of chemicals, they are dangerous to the health. As a result, they increase the risks that are already inherent in plastic surgical procedures.
Smoking and Facelifts: Negative Effects
Here are the negative effects of smoking and facelifts:
- Smoking makes your blood flow decrease – Nicotine causes the flow of blood to decrease. This limits the amount of oxygen to the tissues. If oxygen is not present, there is a chance of skin necrosis or skin death.
- More possibility of complications – If a patient smokes, there is also a greater chance that the patient can experience infections, delayed healing, blood clots, loss of skin and increased pain.
- More anesthesia and pain meds needed – Nicotine can negatively interact with anesthesia and could make it unsafe since it impairs blood circulation. According to a study, smokers needed 33% more anesthesia throughout the operation and 23% more pain medication to achieve the same results as their nonsmoking counterparts.
We ask our patients to stop smoking for a certain amount of time before their facelift procedure, usually at least 3 weeks to one month before surgery. This may differ from other doctors who require patients to stop smoking 2 weeks before the procedure, while others require six months or more. You may need to refer to your primary doctor for help to stop smoking. After surgery, we recommend patients do not smoke for at least six weeks after the procedure. This is necessary to ensure that the best healing takes place. Please note that even if patients stop smoking before and after surgery, the history of nicotine use can still affect results. However, doing your best to avoid second-hand smoke, and nicotine usage will go a long way to decrease your chances of complications.
Contact us to discuss your facelift possibilities.