How Can Smoking Affect a Facelift?
Posted on 08/29/2013 on behalf of Dr. Kenrick Spence, M.D., F.A.C.S.
One of my most repeated tips for my facelift patients in Orlando is to stop smoking. I can't emphasize enough how important this is for ensuring the procedure's results turn out well. In fact, I believe quitting smoking is so crucial that I won't perform a facelift unless a person has stopped smoking completely for at least 4 months before surgery.
If you've been researching cosmetic surgery, you've read it a dozen times: good candidates should be non-smokers. But why? Nicotine can cause the blood vessels in the skin to constrict, which reduces the skin's blood supply. Because of this, smokers are more prone to complications such as infection, long-lasting bruises, and unsightly scars. Other complications, especially related to anesthesia, are more common in smokers.
In the United States, nearly 45% of smokers try to quit every year -- but only 5% of them are able to stop for life. For some people, the promise of plastic surgery is the motivation they need to quit for good. I don't need to tell you how smoking affects your long-term health. But I can tell you it's likely to get in the way of your desired surgical procedure. Is it really worth it to continue?