Everyone knows that smoking is a risky and unhealthy habit. But if you’re a smoker considering rhinoplasty, you might not know that smoking is so detrimental to the surgical and healing processes that nearly all surgeons require that patients stop smoking before their procedure. How long? While it varies from doctor to doctor, most surgeons advise that you quit an average of 2-4 weeks (many recommend much longer) before and after surgery. Why is this?
Smoking increases risks in general
Rhinoplasty has become a generally very safe procedure in the hands of a skilled and experienced surgeon. As with any surgery, however, there is always a small chance for complications. The risks for these complications are higher for smokers due to the physical effect cigarettes have on the body. Smoking increases the risk for anesthesia-related complications as well.
Smoking inhibits the healing process
Nicotine constricts the blood vessels, which causes poor circulation and inhibits proper healing. Patients who smoke during recovery can expect a slower healing process and possible skin loss and/or scarring. This is especially true following a revision rhinoplasty since producing a good outcome is more complex for this procedure than for a primary rhinoplasty. Don’t compromise your results for the sake of a cigarette!
Another factor to be aware of is the effect of secondhand smoke. It may seem trivial, but secondhand smoke can negatively impact your results in a significant way, depending on how much smoke you are exposed to.
If you’d like to move forward with rhinoplasty but you haven’t yet kicked the habit, take the desire for surgery as an opportunity to quit. Be honest with your surgeon about your smoking habits–you don’t want to risk a bad outcome. For more information about rhinoplasty and to discuss your goals for surgery, contact rhinoplasty specialist Dr. Mounsey at Revesse in Toronto (416.438.2499) to set up a consultation.