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Reduce Post-Surgery Complications by Quitting Smoking

The negative effects of smoking on one’s overall health is no secret. There’s a long list of reasons to quit smoking and plastic surgery is one of them. In plastic surgery, smoking significantly increases one’s risk of risks and complications post-surgery.

Here at our Houston plastic surgery practice, we do not only tell our clients to quit smoking, but we also make it a point to assist them in figuring out how exactly they can quit before having a Houston breast augmentation, liposuction, or tummy tuck.

“The Longer and Heavier the Smoking, The Greater the Complications”

A study published in a Reuters article found out that smokers who quit for at least a year before having plastic surgery had equal risks similar to that of non-smokers. The research undertaken by the American College of Surgeons examined and evaluated 125,000 current smokers, 78,000 formers smokers who had already quit for almost a year, and approximately 400,000 individuals who never smoked. The subjects’ smoking history was obtained. Risk factors and the presence of complications such as pneumonia, heart attack, blood clots and death 30 days post-surgery were also assessed.

The results of the study were stunning. As quoted by the article, “Current smokers were 17 percent more likely to die and 53 percent more likely to have serious heart and lung problems than former smokers who had quit.  Although increased risk of death was detectable even when someone had smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 10 years, the authors noted, the longer and heavier the smoking, the greater the risk for complications”.

Quitting Smoking Before Your Houston Plastic Surgery

If you don’t have the luxury of waiting for a year for your Houston plastic surgery, consider quitting for 2 to 4 weeks prior to the procedure. This will significantly reduce your chances of risks and post-surgery complications. We recommend the following tips and tricks to kicking the smoking habit:

1. Make quitting smoking as a priority goal. Fully commit to that goal and resolve to stick to it no matter what.

2. Try nicotine alternatives such as lozenges, gums, and nicotine patches. Also, visit your general health practitioner and ask about nicotine nasal inhalers and spray.

3. Consider seeing a hypnotherapist or acupuncture specialist if you aim to quit smoking before plastic surgery. Several smokers swear by acupuncture in helping them quit.

4. Join a group in your community or in an online forum who focus is helping each other quit smoking. Having people with the same goal as you will motivate you to increase your cessation efforts.

Lastly, it is important to talk to Dr. Cortés about your goals to quit smoking. You can fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cortés via email or you can also call us at (713) 234-6244. Together,  we will review your goals, expectations, and medical history to advise you regarding the different existing options and provide you the highest quality care.

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