Ask a Surgeon has moved to Smart Beauty Guide

For the latest answers from our Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, or to ask your own question, please visit
Ask a Surgeon on Smart Beauty Guide.

For up-to-date information on procedure costs, see the Average Costs page.

Archived questions on Surgery.org can be viewed by selecting a topic on the left of this page.

How long after my breast reduction until I can smoke?

Q:

I had my breast reduction 8/21/2012, its only three days later but I'm up and getting around. The same day nurses discharged me about 30 minutes after I woke up and they did not try to relieve my pain. I told them I have a high tolerance to medicine and they sent me away knowing I was a 9 out of 10 on the pain scale. It's a 2 hour drive home and I was crying from the pain so I smoked a cigarette to calm me down. I haven't since then and I was wondering when I could.

A:

 

 Smoking and secondary smoking can dramatically increase complications with breast reductions. Issues of skin loss, nipple loss, bad scaring, etc. are much more common with smokers.

 It is in your best interest to "STOP SMOKING NOW"!! Consider calling your surgeon to address when you can begin smoke again. We do not recommend a patient begin smoking in the post operative period until they are completely healed. With a breast reduction this is at a minimum 3 to 4 weeks after the date of surgery. Best,

 

  Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

A:

Smoking after Breast Reduction

Smoking reduces blood flow. Breast reduction significantly reduces the blood supply to the skin edges and the nipple/areola. It takes about 1-2 months before the body rebuilds blood supply into these areas. Therefore, you should refrain from smoking for the next 1-2 months. The risk if you do not is poor scar, problems with healing below the surface and even some loss of the nipple or areola. If you can stop for this time, you should continue not to smoke, as smoking is absolutely the worst thing you can do to your body and it ages you significantly. Since you are obviously concerned about your looks, this latter problem should be enough to keep you off cigarettes.

Related Questions

Copyright © 2009-2021 the Aesthetic Society. All Rights Reserved.