Do I Have to Give Up Smoking Before Surgery?

February 10, 2011
before surgery concerns

As a Los Angeles plastic surgeon, I have come across many patients who wonder if they really need to quit smoking before having a surgical procedure. To be clear, smoking is one of the worst things you can do voluntarily to negatively impact your health. I would be hard-pressed to find a person who hasn’t heard of the negative effects of smoking these days. Without going through a laundry list of why smoking is bad for you, let’s look at it from a surgical perspective.

Smoking before your surgery can lead to the following problems:

  • Increased bruising
  • Respiratory problems
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Poor scarring

I understand that for many of my patients, giving up an addictive habit that is part of an everyday routine can be very difficult. But it is important that you consider the risks when you prepare for your surgical procedure. It is recommended that a patient quits smoking at least a month before their surgery, as smoking lowers the body’s ability to deliver important oxygen to all of the organs. This is very crucial during surgery as well as recovery.

So if you’re considering a cosmetic procedure, consider what smoking will do to your surgery and recovery – not to mention your overall health and happiness.


Dr. Grant Stevens

Dr. Grant Stevens

I am a board-certified Beverly Hills plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience researching and implementing new approaches to plastic surgery. At Plastic Surgery Insider, you get the benefit of my experience and authority when you read my perspectives on the latest news and procedures in plastic surgery.
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