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I quit smoking 3/17/2013 preparing for a tummy tuck and liposuction on 4/18/2013 - is this enough time for a safe surgery?

Q:

I quit smoking March 7, 2013 as I am having a tummy tuck with liposuction on April 18, 2013.  Unfortunately on March 30th, I went out with friends and smoked approximately 10 cigarettes.  I have not touched any cigarettes since.  Is it still safe to go ahead with the surgery on April 18th? 

A:

The first thing you need to do is share this information with your surgeon. Full disclosure with your surgeon is extremely important. Not being completely honest with your surgeon about smoking, drug use, medications you take or have taken, previous surgeries, etc. could be a reason for a surgeon to cancel a scheduled surgery. Your surgeon needs to trust you, just as you need to trust your surgeon

Smoking can have very serious side effects on surgical outcomes. In my practice, a person must have not smoked within 90 days before I will see them in consultation. I realize how difficult quitting smoking can be. It is easy to have a slip up during the process of quitting. Stress sometimes makes the desire to smoke even more significant and preparing for surgery can sometimes be stressful. That is why we have the 90 day rule.

I have had several patients stop smoking due to their desire for plastic surgery. These patients have remained non-smokers. I am very proud of them.

M.M. Law, MD

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