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Is three weeks long enough to stop smoking before a breast reduction?

Q:

I am a smoker and I am going to have a breast reduction.  Is three weeks long enough to stop smoking before the procedure?

A:

The answer to your question is yes.  Please make sure not to start smoking after your surgery until you are completely healed and your surgeon agrees that it is OK to resume the activity.  Also, remember that second hand smoking can be just as detrimental to a patient as primary smoking.  If your friends and family members have any consideration for your well being, they will not smoke around you during this time.  Consider putting up a NO SMOKING sign in your living area & designate a smoking area outside for those who wish to indulge.

Best,

Gary R. Culbertson, MD, FACS

 

A:

Three weeks is a good start, but not long enough to totally improve your vascularity to significantly reduce the risks of tissue loss and poor scar.  By three weeks you have improved your lung function some so that your anesthesia risks are less, but I prefer you to wait longer even for this.  I do not do this surgery unless you have been off Nicotine (smoking, patches, gum, etc.) for at least 6 weeks and, preferably, 8 weeks.  After surgery you need to remain Nicotine free for at least 43 weeks, but, since you have been off for several months, the best thing for your health is not to start back.

A:

Smoking & Breast Shaping Procedures – I, personally, do not operate on anyone who smokes, but if they are a smoker and have stopped for at least 4-6 weeks then it is certainly something I will do. There is a higher risk of complications in patients who smoke, either with facelifts or breast procedures, that is 10x higher. I want my patients to do well and not have a high risk for complications.

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