Smoking not only induces medical disease but impacts wound healing significantly. Its negative effects are thought to be primarily related to its reduced levels of tissue oxygenation, a critical factor that helps surgical wounds heal. Two major smoke consitutents, nicotine and carbon monoxide, causes peripheral vasoconstriction and decreases the ability of hemoglobin in red blood cells to carry oxygen. Nicotine may also impair the function of fibroblasts and white blood cells to make collagen and fight infection respectively. If you smoke and want to undergo plastic surgery, you would be wise to refrain from smoking at least two weeks before and after surgery to improve your chances of a successful and uncomplicated result. In addition, your anesthesiologist will also appreciate it as the direct effects of cigarette smoke on the lungs are certainly not helpful for your anesthetic and the immediate recovery from it.
Dr. Barry Eppley