Smoke and plastic surgery are not good bedfellows. So, if you’re a smoker and you are considering a plastic surgical procedure, my advice is to stop smoking as soon as you can (just because all indications is that smoking is deleterious to your health), and commit to not smoking for a minimum of one full month prior to your procedure, if not for the remainder of your life. Smoking significantly interferes with blood flow.
This is particularly important in plastic surgery procedures because the skin and other tissues must have adequate blood circulation. In plastic surgery the tissues are moved around in the operations and many blood vessels must be redirected. However there still must be adequate blood vessels going to the skin. The healthier and less constricted the blood vessels the more easily you’ll endure and recover from plastic surgery.
According to a recent study (June 2015) presented at the European Society of Anesthesiology, “Compared with people who don’t smoke, smokers needed 33% more anesthesia throughout the operation and an additional 23% more pain medication after their procedure to achieve the same results.” In addition the study found that, “Those who didn’t smoke themselves but were exposed to secondhand smoke required 20% more anesthesia and 18% more pain medication than non-smokers who weren’t exposed to second hand smoke.” (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-05/eso-sat052715.php)
Nicotine causes the blood vessels to decrease in size, which reduces the amount of blood flow. Additionally, nicotine can make blood clot more easily and that further contributes to the potential clogging of small vessels and capillaries. As the recent study points to, there are real dangers associated with smoking and plastic surgery. Even non-smokers who are exposed to second hand smoke are in danger. So again, I implore anyone considering plastic surgery to discuss the effects of smoking with your surgeon prior to any procedure. If the surgeon doesn’t advise you to quit, that may be what you want to hear, but you could also run the risk of complications.