Many scientists are unanimous on the danger and negative effects on the health of smokers. However, it appears to be all the more harmful during a surgical operation, especially in the weeks preceding the operation. It is strongly advised to stop smoking when you plan to have a cosmetic procedure. The effects of tobacco on surgery are multiple and can lead to major scarring complications, but also increase the risk of infection of implantable materials.
Why stop smoking before an operation?
Smoking increases the risk of surgical complications. Generally, these complications lengthen the duration of hospitalization for smokers. Among the complications that are favored by smoking, we note :
– Peri-operative respiratory in operations under general anesthesia.
– Perioperative cardiovascular complications where inhaled carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide decrease the ability of the blood to carry oxygen.
– Complications of wound healing are 6 times higher in smokers. Smoking boosts blood sugar levels, which can slow down the healing process. In addition, nicotine decreases collagen production, which alters the quality of healing.
– Infectious complications where the risk of infection of surgical wounds is multiplied by 6. Carbon monoxide weakens tissue oxygenation with poor blood microcirculation, while nicotine causes vasoconstriction of tissues and further reduces oxygen supply.
– Bone consolidation disorders can be generated which favors the risk of pseudoarthrosis which is the absence of bone consolidation.
– Increased pain and inflammation where smokers are forced to receive higher doses of anesthetics since tobacco accelerates their metabolism by the liver.
Why avoid smoking before plastic surgery?
Consequences on the tissues
Smoking interferes with the regeneration of skin tissue, causing faster aging and the appearance of spots. Smoking can prematurely age a person’s face for three reasons. The first reason is that the blood flow increases free radicals. The second reason is to decrease the elasticity of the skin while causing sagging and wrinkling of the skin. The third reason is because of this repetitive action of wrinkling when you have a cigarette in your mouth causes peri-mouth wrinkles.
NB : Because of the effects of smoking, procedures to improve the appearance of tissues such as injection of fillers may be less effective or even completely ineffective.
Consequences on healing
As is the case with any operation, the action of tobacco can clearly degrade the healing capacity of the tissues, making the result less harmonious and even unsightly.
Tobacco consumption has serious consequences and complications on the human body such as phlebitis which can be complicated by a pulmonary embolism.
The origins of these complications are mainly the two substances contained in cigarettes, carbon monoxide and nicotine. These two substances alter the blood circulation by spraying the blood microvessels. They block the nutrient supply essential to the repair of skin lesions. This reduces the activity of white blood cells that are essential for the immune response during the inflammatory phase of healing.
When exactly should you stop smoking?
In short, before any surgical procedure, it is strongly advised to avoid smoking. In addition to being a risk to human health in general, smoking is also considered a major risk factor in surgery.
Smoking can lead to complications during cosmetic surgery and in the days that follow.
The patient who chooses to stop smoking completely without using nicotine-containing derivatives such as electronic cigarettes or patches, before the scheduled date of their surgery can reduce, in a considerable way, the risks that can be incurred and even make them disappear completely. Moreover, it is strongly advised to stop smoking before an operation and even not to resume after the operation and this, as long as possible. As a general rule, one month before the cosmetic surgery, the patient must stop smoking. There are some surgeons who are more severe, requiring a cessation of 6 weeks before the operation.
In the case of meeting difficulties to stop smoking, the patient can respect a period of 3 weeks without smoking. This may increase the risks a little but it is still correct. If quitting smoking proves to be more difficult than expected, it is advisable not to smoke at all during the 48 hours preceding the operation.