Quitting Smoking Before Plastic Surgery

If you’re a smoker, you may have heard that quitting smoking before plastic surgery is important. What you may not realize is that many plastic surgeons, Dr. Christopoulos included, will not perform certain cosmetic surgeries on people who currently smoke or use other nicotine-based products. Beyond the well-known risks to your health, nicotine can actually cause serious complications during plastic surgeries, especially facelifts.

In every type of facelift procedure, your facial tissue is surgically cut, lifted, and repositioned. During this process, blood flow to your facial tissue decreases. This is a standard part of the facelift procedure, and the risks are minimal for healthy patients. However, if you are a smoker, the nicotine in your blood supply constricts your blood vessels even further. This can create a dangerous situation in which your blood vessels tighten so much that your facial tissue dies or becomes seriously scarred.

This complication is related to nicotine, so people who use e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or nicotine patches or gum are also subject to this problem. That’s why it is so important for anyone considering plastic surgery in Chicago to quit their use of nicotine for at least four weeks before and four weeks after any cosmetic surgery.

You may be able to find a Chicago plastic surgeon who is willing to perform a facelift without asking you to quit smoking, but this would be a terrible choice. Any surgeon willing to overlook this possible complication does not have your best interests at heart.

Beyond the risk of surgical complications, it is also important to quit smoking for your overall health and appearance. Many smokers feel like smoking keeps them thin, but it also creates fine lines around the mouth, prematurely aged skin, and can lead to major medical problems, all of which will have a negative effect on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you’re interested in plastic surgery in Chicago and have recently quit smoking, contact Dr. Christopoulos to learn more about how to proceed safely. Dr. Christopoulos can answer all of your questions during a thorough evaluation and help you determine the best path for moving forward with your cosmetic surgery goals in a responsible manner.