Clearly, smoking is an unhealthy habit. Still, it is estimated that a staggering 40 million American adults currently smoke cigarettes. While aware of smoking’s obvious health risks, patients at Seattle Plastic Surgery Center are surprised that to learn of the impact that smoking has on both the safety and success of their chosen cosmetic surgery. Doubly as bad, smoking affects more than the surgery alone, also hindering and delaying one’s recovery.
Smoking Increases the Change of Complications
During and after surgery, the body’s blood supply is at the utmost importance. Already affected by the stresses of surgery, your body’s blood supply is further compromised by the addition of nicotine What’s more, by constricting the small blood vessels, nicotine decreases the amount of oxygen within your cells. Together, this greatly increases the chance for surgical complications.
A successful recovery is dependent on a healthy circulation’ blood must be able to travel, as it supplies nutrients throughout the body, including to sites that have been injured during surgery. A double whammy, nicotine decreases blood flow while carbon monoxide robs the body of oxygen, an important component to wound healing. As Dr. Grenely explains, when compromised, you run the risk of severe skin loss and a prolonged healing,â? he continues by adding, that scarring is often very bad.
Cold, Hard Facts
Confirming the adverse effects of smoking, a 2013 study highlights the injurious correlation between smoking and surgery. Researchers at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) looked at over 600,000 adult surgical patients, of those, over 20% of those were current smokers. Predictably, non-smokers had the lowest risk of complications. The study also found that within one month of surgery, current smokers were 21% more likely to have serious complications in comparison to those who never smoked or who had quit at least one year ahead of their surgery.
An interesting and, perhaps encouraging take-away, researchers found that ceasing to use nicotine one year before major surgery substantially lowers the risk of surgical complications.
Do You Smoke?
There are some surgeries where smoking, although certainly not beneficial, would have less serious consequences, while there are other surgeries where the potential complications could be very serious or even disastrous. Procedures that significantly depend upon a strong blood supply to the skin could, if performed upon a patient who smokes, result in skin necrosis or loss, very prolonged healing of open wounds, and potentially disfiguring scarring.
Dr. Grenley would not perform any of the following procedures on a smoker unless a patient has quit smoking at least two or more months prior to surgery: facelift, breast lift, breast reduction, and tummy tucks. Patient safety and achieving an excellent result are particularly important to Dr. Grenley.
Safe & Beautiful Results with Dr. Grenley
Safety is of the at most importance which is why, at Seattle Plastic Surgery Center, we are the first to point out the detrimental effects of smokingâ and the benefits of discontinuing the use of any type of nicotine in the surgical setting.
We understand that smoking is a hard habit to break. We are here to help you. Please contact our office for advice and tips on how to quit smoking.