It’s not exactly a secret that
smoking can do a whole bunch of badness for your health and, when it comes to
mixing it with plastic surgery, some of the side effects are seriously
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And that scary
stat applies to anyone who smokes either before OR after the procedure.
The reason: Nicotine and carbon monoxide can diminish blood
flow to various parts of the body and this toxic duo acts as what Dr. Youn
calls a “virtual tourniquet.” Simply put, “When blood flow to a body part
becomes reduced or halted, that body part dies.”
Beyond breast surgery, Eugene,
OR, plastic surgeon Mark Jewell, MD, says ANY type of nicotine use (read: not just smoking) increases the risk of tissue necrosis
in other skin flaps, such as those resulting from a facelift, abdominoplasty,
open rhinoplasty, or reduction mammaplasty/mastopexy.
“In the face, the risk of skin
dying—where parts of your face can literally fall off to expose the tissue
underneath—is 14 times greater,” he says.
“Patients should always disclose tobacco use, vaping,
nicotine gum and patch use,” Dr. Jewell warns, but adds that the good news is the
risk of nicotine-induced skin necrosis is reversible with complete refraining
from nicotine-containing products.