Quitting smoking before your breast augmentation procedure is highly recommended. The risks of smoking are well publicized and known to smokers and non-smokers alike. However, one consideration that needs to be made prior to any surgery is the effect cigarette smoke has on the recovery process.
Smoking and Breast Augmentation Recovery
Your breast augmentation recovery time will be dependent on a number of factors. Where your breast implants are placed, the location of your incisions, and your body’s natural healing ability will all play a role in breast augmentation recovery. The last factor is the one most impacted by cigarette smoking.
Several studies have found that women who smoke face a ten to 50 percent longer recovery period.
They also increase their risks for complications such as infection, excessive bleeding, and muscle retraction. For this reason, most plastic surgeons will recommend you quit smoking six to eight weeks prior to your procedure. This allows your body to clear the chemicals present from cigarette smoke, reducing your risks for complications.
There are a number of chemicals in cigarette smoke that can interfere with proper healing. Smoking releases carbon monoxide into your bloodstream. Carbon monoxide stops red blood cells from carrying oxygen to cells and damaged tissue. This increases recovery time by depleting your tissue of the nutrients necessary for prompt healing. In addition, nicotine is a vasoconstrictor.
Vasoconstrictors narrow blood vessels, inhibiting proper blood flow to the surgical site and increasing your risk for a prolonged recovery along with other risks. Knowing the risks cigarette smoking can produce following surgery, it is always in your best interest to quit before breast augmentation.
Quitting smoking is difficult, but not impossible. The process of quitting may take some trial and error as you experiment to find a solution that works for you. Quitting cold turkey works very well for some women, while others choose nicotine replacement or prescription medications. Remember, nicotine itself causes some of the risks associated with breast augmentation recovery, so you will want to wait until you have successfully quit with that method before scheduling your surgery. Some medications used to quit smoking can also interfere with proper recovery from breast augmentation, making it important that you tell your plastic surgeon what medications you are on prior to your procedure.
In the end, quitting smoking will improve every area of your life. Talking to your doctor about ways to quit will not only increase your chances of a successful breast augmentation surgery, it will lead to a happier, healthier, and more rewarding life in general.