I am scheduled for a TT in April. How long before surgery should I quit?
Studies in animals show that the risk of wound healing complications related to any form of nicotine is eliminated by stopping smoking 2 months before surgery. You need to stop now.
Ideally you wouldn’t smoke, and it would be good to stop before surgery. It is recommended that the patients stop as soon as they can. However,I have operated on patients that have not stopped. Obviously I inform them of the higher risks
DO NOT SMOKE before an abdominoplasty. If you are a healthy person in general, you need to be "NICOTINE FREE FOR AT LEAST 4 WEEKS"
Why? Smoking 1 cigarette will cut the blood supply to skin and other soft tissue down by 40% for about 4 hours. This is a cumulative thing and if you are a long term smoker it takes 4 weeks to wear off!
Wound breakdown and tissue death along with wound infection is a very bad place to be.
This issue is a contract between you and your surgeon.
Consult your surgeon regarding smoking before and after your surgery, follow your surgeon's instructions, otherwise you are fully responsible for the consequences of smoking and wound healing and skin loss and complications.
We cannot give reasonable advise, it all depend on the surgery, the technique, and your medical history.
Many Board certified Plastic Surgeons will not operate on smokers.
As a Board certified plastic surgeon my priority is patient safety.
At least 6 weeks before, though some would accept up to 4 weeks
Due to the significant risks of smoking with a "flap" surgery such as a tummy tuck it would be advisable to stop 6-8 weeks before and after surgery to minimize complications .
You should stop now.This is nothing to play around with and the complications can be devastating. You are spending a lot of money and this is your body. Be bold and do the right thing.
T Raine MD
Smoking increasing the risks for wound healing complications. Essentially, this means that an active smoker will be at a high risk of the incision not healing and falling apart, or even worse having some of the skin may die. This is because one of the major effects of smoking is decreased blood flow particularly in smaller vessels. To limit this risk it is recommended to stop smoking 4-6 weeks before the procedure to allow some of the products of smoking to clear from the body.
Ultimately it will be up to you and the surgeon, but I encourage you to be honest in order to fully review and understand the risks.
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