If you are a smoker and are considering cosmetic surgery, you should know that your surgeon may not perform any procedures until you have stopped smoking first. You may wonder why you cannot have surgery until you kick the habit. Smokers should know there are several reasons why they need to stop smoking before undergoing cosmetic surgery. Check out some of the most important reasons you should stop smoking before you have cosmetic surgery.
Nicotine And Your Blood Vessels
Nicotine has been found to impact blood vessel constriction, causing a reduction in blood flow to organs and to your skin. During a cosmetic procedure, the skin that is cut depends on the blood flow in the skin that was not cut to aid in sending healing blood flow. When you smoke, the flow of blood may take a lot longer to reach wounded areas, thus dramatically slowing healing. The longer a wound is experiencing reduced blood flow, the longer is it also at risk for infection. Stopping smoking ahead of any surgical procedure is advised so you can experience healthy healing without the increased risk of infection. An incision on your skin, especially the facial area, from a cosmetic procedure is the last place you want infection.
Smoking And Wound Infection
Your blood carries oxygen that is vital for the process of oxygenation, a natural process your body enacts during wound repair. Neutrophils, special cells that are responsible for fighting the bad guys in the body that cause infection, require oxygen to carry out important biological actions and reactions. Neutrophils, also called white blood cells, are absolutely essential for wound healing to be successful. If you are having cosmetic surgery, smoking can increase your risk of infection because it inhibits the ability of white blood cells to fight against the pathogens that cause infection.
Macrophage White Blood Cells And Scarring
Smoking increases the risk of skin scarring from cosmetic surgical procedures because the chemicals in smoke impacts immune cells calls macrophages. Macrophages are type of white blood cells that is responsible for directly combating and devouring the bad guys in your body. When there is less oxygen in your blood, enough macrophage cells reach scar tissue for aiding it in healing properly.
If you are seriously considering a cosmetic procedure and you smoke, consider the outcome you would like to have for your procedure. Reducing your risk of infection and scarring starts with you stopping smoking. Contact a doctor, such as John Gatti MD, for more information about preparing for surgery.