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Plastic Surgery and Smoking—What Can Go Wrong?

4 December, 2022

Did you know that, in 2020, 22.3% of the world’s population were tobacco users? Of these, most are men and women between 25 and 54 years old—the same age many want to undergo plastic surgery in Mexico. Maybe you’re wondering what tobacco use has to do with plastic surgery. They seem like two different terms, but they are intricately connected. Find out why.

Relationship between surgery and smoking

Did you know that quitting smoking before surgery is not optional? That’s right. This is a necessary question for those who want plastic surgery in Mexico. This involves both cigarette smoking, as well as any other nicotine-containing products such as patches, vapers, chewing tobacco, or electronic cigarettes. Therefore, tobacco use is harmful in all its forms, and there is no safe level of exposure.

The main reason is that clinical studies have confirmed a direct relationship between smoking and the risk of severe health problems. In addition to the direct affectations on the lung, because it affects the inner lining layer of this and can develop problems such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, other affectations can complicate surgery. Here are some conditions that may occur:

  • Blood clots
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure

Smoke patients are more likely to suffer from complications such as blood clots than non-smokers. Such clots can reach the lungs, cause heart dysfunction, or, on the other hand, be more prone to infection. Similarly, regular smokers can have significant anesthetic complications because smoking demands more from your heart and body.

Dependence on nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes affects the immune system and oxygen levels in the blood, and blood vessels are narrowed so that blood does not reach the body properly. For these reasons, a surgeon might even refuse to operate on an active smoker with a high chance of surgical complications or healing difficulties due to his physical condition.

Effects of smoking after surgery

But even if plastic or general surgery has been completed without major complications, it is necessary to remember that patients should not smoke immediately. Since tobacco use also affects the healing of your wound. If you are a smoker, you have surely noticed more than once that a cut takes longer to heal compared to other people.

As we have already mentioned, nicotine causes a narrowing of blood vessels; therefore, tissues do not receive enough oxygen in the blood so it can be infected more easily or even cause necrosis. So smoking, even if it is a cigarette, will prevent your body from having the ability to provide the nutrients and elements necessary for proper and rapid healing.

In other words, an active smoking patient will frequently experience a much slower recovery time. But not only that, but the quality of your healing will also not be optimal. Your scars may be thicker, wider, or take longer to fade. So, the appearance of your scar is a good motivation to avoid smoking after your Tijuana plastic surgery.

How long before plastic surgery should I quit smoking?

Most surgeons recommend discontinuing your intake at least 2 weeks before your scheduled surgery date. However, there is data from scientific studies that reveal that those patients who quit smoking 4 weeks earlier or more have been shown to have a lower rate of complications and, after 6 months, a better recovery. So, the longer you go without having smoked, the better.

In the same way, if you want spectacular results, you must know what to do and what not to do during your recovery. After plastic surgery, it is suggested not to smoke once at least 1 month, or 6 weeks have passed. Although if you manage to resist smoking before and after surgery, the best recommendation for your health in the short and long term is to suspend this habit permanently in your life.

How to quit smoking before surgery

The first step is not to hide this habit from your plastic surgeon; rather, inform him as soon as possible. This way, he can evaluate his clinical picture more accurately and take preventive measures to avoid significant complications. At the same time, he will give you helpful directions about stopping smoking. Remember that cheating and smoking a few cigarettes will eventually backfire on you. So better take it as a challenge or one more motivation to achieve successful plastic surgery.

Here are some extra tips that might help:

  • Get motivated

If you have already decided on plastic surgery in Mexico, it is evident that you want to improve and beautify an aspect of your body. So why not make the change ultimately? This can be the motivation for a new stage in your life, a new appearance, and new habits.

  • Make decisions

If your surgery is near, avoid postponing this decision. Do not replace it with vapers or patches, as the goal is to eliminate nicotine from your body. Instead, get rid of cigarettes, lighters, and any related products. Mentalize yourself for the first few hours of abstinence and try to occupy your mind with revitalizing activities.

  • Stay away from triggering situations

Avoid people or situations that you are tempted to take on. Openly speaking can help strengthen your resolve. You can even inform your family and friends about this significant change and surround yourself with people willing to support you.

  • Replace it with a new routine

Did you know that, on average, it takes 21 days to integrate a new habit into your life? Think about going to the gym, exercising, playing a new sport, hiking, taking a makeup course, or any other activity that occupies your schedule and thoughts. Even if you do not have little free time, try to integrate new or different activities you can do at home.

  • Change your diet

But on the other hand, you must take care that food does not become an escape from anxiety. When preparing your body for surgery, it is vital to have a healthy diet. It is necessary to give priority to proteins, fruits, and vegetables. This way, you will feel more active and strengthen your immune system.

Plastic surgery in Mexico: A new stage begins

Plastic surgery in Mexico is an effective alternative to achieving important personal goals. Some have to do with feeling better about themselves, recovering joy, opening up new job opportunities, and improving a new self’s exterior and interior. Smoking is not an impediment for you to achieve it too. Go to specialists who can guide you in this process. Email [email protected] or call (858) 779 2552 and find out how to succeed in your surgery.

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