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clock-icon   July 31, 2023

Why You Should Quit Nicotine Before Surgery

For those who are thinking about getting a surgical procedure from our state-of-the-art in-office surgical facility, you might be wondering about the best ways to prepare your body and to maximize your chances of optimal results.

One of the most important directions our medical team gives patients prior to surgery is that they should quit using nicotine products. Quitting nicotine (and especially cigarettes) prior to your surgery can lead to better outcomes and reduce complications.

What Health Effects Can Smoking Produce?

Smoking has a profound effect on your heart and lungs. It is known to cause a variety of health issues related to your cardiovascular and respiratory systems, including but not limited to:

  • Cancer, especially of the lungs
  • COPD
  • Asthma
  • Reduced immunity
  • Increased risk of infection (especially pneumonia)
  • Increased sensation of pain and inflammation
  • Heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke
  • Shortened life expectancy

A history of smoking may put you at risk of complications while you are under anesthesia.

How Does Nicotine Impact Surgical Outcomes?

One of the most critical reasons we recommend our patients quit nicotine prior to surgery is because smoking thickens your blood, which puts you at a higher risk of developing blood clots. That, in turn, can also increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism.

Smoking also narrows your blood vessels, which slows down the wound healing process. When you have narrow blood vessels, less blood (and therefore less oxygen) is circulated throughout your body, which prevents your body from receiving adequate nourishment. This slows down your surgical healing time – increasing your risk for developing infections and complications.

The chemicals found in nicotine products can lead to inflammation and cause you to feel heightened sensations of pain. It can even lower your immunity levels, making you more susceptible to infections.

What Nicotine Products Should I Quit Prior to My Surgery?

When it comes to your health and safety, you should err on the side of caution. If you think that a product may contain nicotine, it is in your best interest to quit using it. Here are some examples of nicotine products you should quit prior to your surgery:

  • Cigarettes
  • Vape products, including Evapes
  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine patches
  • Any other nicotine products as directed by our expert medical team

Ideally, you should aim to quit nicotine products as soon as possible. Quitting these products even one day before your surgery can reduce your risk of complications; but the earlier, the better. If you have any questions about products not on this list, please contact us for additional details.

As you heal post-operatively, it is important you try to stay smoke free so that your body continues to be at low-risk for developing complications.

Additional Reasons to Quit Smoking

Even if you are not undergoing plastic surgery, it is always a good idea to consider quitting smoking. Quitting can add up to ten years to your life and improve your overall life quality. Your loved ones benefit from not getting second-hand smoke exposure (which can still produce negative health effects) and you will also save on potentially thousands of dollars per year.

Other Ways to Prepare for My Surgery Besides Quitting Smoking

During your initial consultation, we will give you a list of personalized instructions on how to prepare for your surgery to achieve a positive outcome. In addition to quitting nicotine, you should try to follow a healthy diet and get a full night’s sleep. Inform us of all medications, natural supplements, and vitamins that you take, and complete all routine blood and body tests as outlined by our team. Finally, do not wear makeup, nail polish, or eye contacts on the day of your surgery.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about how to properly prepare for a procedure.

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