Smoking and Plastic Surgery
In the past, plastic surgery was performed by the doctors only as a last resort in cases of congenital birth defects or accidents causing malformed looks or deformities in a previously healthy person. Nowadays an increasing number of men and women from all age groups are undergoing plastic surgery in order to improve their appearance and enhance their looks. Even teenagers prefer to go under the knife due to the increasing pressure that society puts on us to look good. The surgical procedures that are most popular among these image obsessed population are breast augmentation, breast reduction, liposuction, tummy tuck and surgical procedures done on the nose and the face.
Smoking and plastic surgery don't go together
Like all other surgical procedures, plastic surgery is also associated with many risks. In order to minimize the risks, the operating surgeon will advise the person undergoing the surgery to take a number of precautions. One of the most important precautions is quitting smoking. Smoking and plastic surgery just don't mix. The operating surgeon advises the person undergoing surgery to quit smoking at least two weeks before the surgery. Smoking makes the person vulnerable to contracting infections especially after a surgical procedure when his immunity is low.
People who smoke are more prone to develop post surgical complications
According to some studies, surgery patients who smoke are at a higher risk of developing healing complications as compared to non-smokers. In particular, people who smoke and who undergo the plastic surgery procedures such as breast reductions, breast augmentation, tummy tucks, face lift or other procedures that create skin "flaps " are more prone to healing complications.
Delayed wound healing is observed in smokers
Clinical research done on the subject of smoking has often indicated that smoking affects the body's ability to heal itself especially after surgery. Carbon monoxide is one of the harmful chemicals that are present in the cigarette smoke. This carbon monoxide greatly reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen. Oxygen provides energy to the cells of the body and is essential for wound healing. As a result of this there is delayed healing of wounds. Just one cigarette can reduce the blood flow to a wound. This can significantly affect the way it heals.
Smokers are at a higher risk of developing infections after plastic surgery
The immunity of the person is low especially after a surgical procedure. Smoking increases the risk of contracting infections after the surgical procedure. Patients who smoke also have more complications both during and after operations.
Smoking affects the blood vessels and increases the risk of developing clots
Smoking decreases the proper functioning of the lungs and airways. People who smoke are often prone to develop harsh and persistent coughs. It also affects the blood vessels, the heart, and the blood pressure. Smoking narrows the arteries to the brain. This may even result in the blockage of the arteries and lead to stroke. Additionally, there is a higher incidence of blood clots in smokers after surgery.