Smoking and Facelifts
If you're a smoker and want to undergo a facelift, the first thing you'll be advised to do by Dr. Brown is to stop smoking for a specific period of time before and after your surgery—generally a minimum of two weeks before and after your procedure. This is sound medical advice that you should definitely follow. In some cases, you may not be able to go ahead with surgery if you don't stop smoking.
While you already know that smoking has a negative impact on your health, you may not know that it can also adversely affect your recovery following a facelift (as well as other cosmetic surgery procedures that involve "flap" surgery that involves lifting the skin, such as a breast lift or tummy tuck). This all has to do with blood circulation.
Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your skin to help with healing. However, the nicotine in cigarettes makes your blood vessels constrict, dramatically reducing the amount of blood that flows to your skin. As a result, your recovery may be compromised if you continue to smoke, increasing your risk of the following complications:
- Hematoma (One study found that the rate of developing a hematoma following a facelift was three times higher than that of non-smokers.)
- Skin loss (particularly around the ears). It is extremely important that there is adequate blood supply to skin "flaps".
- Abnormal scarring
- A prolonged healing process that could take months longer
In addition, complications with breathing during your procedure may also result.
Please note that any products that have nicotine will cause the same complications, including patches and gums.
Think About This To Help You Stop Smoking
You may have tried quitting several times before, but consider the reason why you need to stop smoking now, in preparation for your facelift. With all the time and money you'll be investing in your facelift, you wouldn't want to experience those complications mentioned above, would you? You want beautiful results and your scars to heal nicely! While your reasons may be purely for vanity's sake, once you've stopped it doesn't matter why you did. Your face, and body, will thank you. You'll also be able to maintain your results and great new look for a longer time with your healthier lifestyle.
Read More About the Facelift / Rhytidectomy Procedure