Plastic Surgery

Smoking before Abdomniplasty

Smoking before Abdomniplasty

Planning to undergo a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery? It’s important to know that smoking before the procedure can have serious consequences. Smoking not only damages your overall health but can increase the risk of complications during and after the surgery. In this article, we’ll discuss in detail the effects of smoking before abdominoplasty and why it’s vital to quit smoking before the surgery.

How smoking affects wound healing

One of the most significant risks associated with smoking before abdominoplasty is impaired wound healing. Nicotine in cigarettes restricts the flow of blood and oxygen to the surgical site, leading to decreased circulation and oxygen levels in the tissues. This creates a less favorable environment for wound healing, making it more difficult for the body to repair and regenerate tissues. Additionally, smoking can cause blood vessels to constrict or tighten, inhibiting the blood flow that is essential for proper recovery from surgery.

Increased risk of infection

Smoking can also increase the risk of infection after abdominoplasty surgery. The chemicals in cigarettes damage the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infection. This can lead to complications such as delayed healing and increased scarring. Infections can also be more severe and harder to treat in smokers, as their immune system is less effective at identifying and fighting off harmful bacteria. Additionally, smoking can dry out mucous membranes and make the body’s natural defenses against infection less effective. This puts smokers at risk of developing pneumonia or other respiratory diseases after surgery.

Increased risk of blood clots

Smoking before abdominoplasty can also increase the risk of blood clots, which can be life-threatening. Nicotine in cigarettes can damage the lining of blood vessels, making them more susceptible to clotting. Blood clots can block blood flow to vital organs, leading to serious complications such as heart attack or stroke. Smokers also have thicker blood, which can increase the likelihood of clotting. After abdominoplasty, blood clots can form in the legs and travel to the lungs, causing severe breathing difficulties. It’s essential to quit smoking several weeks before surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots and other complications.

Impaired anesthesia

Smoking can also have an impact on the effectiveness of anesthesia during surgery. Anesthesia is used to put the patient to sleep and prevent them from feeling any pain during the procedure. Smoking before surgery can cause the body to metabolize certain drugs at a faster rate, making it harder for the patient to stay asleep under anesthesia. This can lead to an increased risk of awareness during the surgery and may require additional anesthesia to be given, which can be risky. Additionally, smokers may experience more coughing or breathing difficulties during the procedure, which can make it harder for the anesthesia team to monitor their breathing and administer medications as needed.

Delayed recovery time

Smoking before abdominoplasty can also delay the recovery time after surgery. As we’ve already mentioned, smoking can impair wound healing, which can result in delayed recovery times. This means that the patient may experience more pain, swelling, and scarring than non-smokers. Additionally, smokers are more likely to develop complications such as infections or blood clots, which can further lengthen the recovery time. Quitting smoking at least four weeks before surgery can help to ensure a faster and more successful recovery.

Increased risk of scarring

Scarring is an inevitable result of any surgical procedure, including abdominoplasty. However, smoking before surgery can increase the risk of developing unsightly scars. Nicotine in cigarettes can delay wound healing and interfere with the production of collagen, which is an essential protein for proper tissue repair. This can result in the formation of thicker or more visible scars. Additionally, smoking can cause skin to lose its elasticity, which can make scars appear more pronounced. It’s essential to quit smoking at least four weeks before surgery to help minimize scarring and promote healthy wound healing.

Increased risk of anesthesia complications

Smoking before abdominoplasty can increase the risk of anesthesia complications. Smoking can cause the airways to narrow and constrict, making it harder for patients to breathe properly. This can make it challenging for the anesthesia team to monitor the patient’s breathing during surgery. Additionally, smoking can cause changes to the lung tissue, making it less resilient and increasing the risk of post-operative complications. Smokers are at an increased risk of developing respiratory problems after surgery, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Quitting smoking several weeks before surgery can help to minimize these risks and ensure a successful outcome.

Importance of quitting smoking before surgery

The importance of quitting smoking before abdominoplasty cannot be overstated. Quitting smoking at least four weeks before surgery can help to reduce the risk of complications, improve wound healing, and promote faster recovery. It’s essential to work with your surgeon to develop a plan to quit smoking leading up to your procedure. This may involve using nicotine replacement therapy or enlisting the help of a support group. Remember that quitting smoking is not just important for your surgery but also for your overall health and well-being. By quitting smoking, you’ll be taking the first step towards a healthier, happier life.


In conclusion, smoking before abdominoplasty can have serious consequences. From impaired wound healing to increased risk of infections, blood clots, and anesthesia complications, smoking can impact every aspect of your surgery and recovery. Quitting smoking is the best way to reduce these risks and ensure a successful outcome. If you’re planning to undergo abdominoplasty, talk to your surgeon about the importance of quitting smoking and how you can develop a plan to quit. With dedication and support, you can quit smoking and enjoy the many benefits of a healthier, happier life.

This page is not advice and is intended to be informational only. Consult your physician before undertaking any surgical procedures.

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