Courtesy Getty Images. As a plastic surgeon I require patients to stop smoking before their cosmetic surgery. Since the surgery is elective, I can delay their surgery in case they continue to smoke.
Check smokers’ compliance
There are urine and blood tests that can screen for the by-products of nicotine to ensure compliance.
While patients think they’re supposed to quit smoking due to the risks of lung cancer, which is true, the main problem when it comes to surgery is not smoking, it’s the nicotine.
So I’m clear with the patient that not only do they need to quit smoking, they need to quit all forms of nicotine (patches, gum, dip, cigs, cigars) since the nicotine impedes the normal ability to heal incisions. Incisions that don’t heal well can trap bacteria and lead to infection.
If a patient states they can only stop temporarily, I require they quit 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery.
Sure it’s possible for a patient to lie and “fool” me and get their surgery. But in the end, they’re only fooling themselves if they risk an infection for an operation they just paid out of pocket for.
After you quit smoking, check pricing for procedures from a doctor near you by clicking here!