Dr. Branman Awards Dr. Rhys Branman's Cosmetic Surgery Blog

Quit Now and Stay Healthy

August 26, 2019 - Rhys Branman, MD

No Smoking Sign Image - Little Rock Cosmetic SurgeryWhen you come to Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center for liposuction, a face lift, or any other surgical procedure I will ask you to stop smoking for a period of time before surgery. On all preoperative instructions you will see this statement: NO SMOKING because nicotine reduces blood flow to the skin and can cause significant complications during healing. Stopping smoking right now will hold you in good stead for future cosmetic surgery procedures you may be considering.

According to a new study published by JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) earlier this year, smokers who quit smoking a year before surgery have as little risk of mortality as people who never smoked in their lives! The risk of complications during certain cosmetic procedures can also be serious. Most surgeons suggest patients stop smoking at least a 6 weeks before surgery. In procedures such as breast reduction surgery, liposuction, face lift and rhinoplasty, any procedure where blood flow to the skin is critical, smoking can result in necrosis of the skin. Nicotine and carbon monoxide interferes with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen and nutrients to the wounded skin, the incision sites, on a chemical level. Your blood is what carries oxygen and nutrients to the skin through a maze of tiny capillaries. Beyond this, nicotine is a vaso-constrictor and mechanically impedes the blood flow as well. This is why smoker’s often have cold hands and feet. Of course in any surgery complications arising from arterial or venous events and pneumonia are increased for smokers.

A whopping 607,558 adult patients across four countries were studied between 2008 and 2009. Just in case you were wondering, it takes a quite a while to complete, analyze and publish a study. The main goal of the study was to measure and report the mortality rates of smokers and non smokers 30 days post-operatively. There was no increase in the odds of mortality between the past smokers who quit a year or more before and non smokers! In fact the researchers said quitting a year before “abolished the risk.” Secondary goals and results were:

  • Arterial events such as heart attack or stroke (myocardial infarctions or cerebrovascular accident) Result: 28% greater risk of heart attack for the former smokers. But a 77% risk among current smokers!

  • Venous events such as blood clots forming deep in the body (deep vein thrombosis) and pulmonary embolism (sudden blockage of a blood vessel to the lung, usually a blood clot.)

Result: ” No effects on venous events were observed.” Basically, the risk did not go down.

  • Respiratory events including pneumonia or the need for intubation or ventilation in under 48 hours after surgery for other reasons.

Results: Former smokers 16% higher risk of pneumonia than non smokers, but there is 50% higher risk of pneumonia with current smokers!

  • Generally, people who smoke have a 17% higher chance of dying, and a 53% chance of heart and lung problems after surgery.

We consider your safety first when assessing you for a procedure at Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center. This is why you are always told to quit smoking before surgery. As I have said before, stay away from smoking for six weeks, or even until you are completely healed. This may be your chance to quit smoking completely!

Dr. Branman

Call Melinda at the front desk to set up a consultation 501-227-0707 ­

Thanks to Free Grunge Textures for the image of a no smoking sign.

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