Is smoking after rhinoplasty surgery safe? If you’re a smoker, then the wait time to pick up your next cigarette after surgery can be quite hard. But rushing into smoking after plastic surgery to the face, such as a rhinoplasty, is unfortunately asking for trouble and not recommended. Most doctors recommend refraining from smoking for at least 4 weeks before and after a rhinoplasty procedure. Not doing so can result in some not-so-great side effects that could put your healing process at risk.
If your health is already compromised due to smoking or other health conditions, you might not be considered a good contender for rhinoplasty in the first place. However, if you’re still in generally good health your doctor will probably advise you to refrain from smoking for a few weeks before the surgery just to be safe and avoid complications. The last thing you want is to go through all the pain, and cost, of rhinoplasty just to have the results compromised due to cigarette smoke during your rhinoplasty recovery stages.
Let’s discuss the different side effects of smoking after rhinoplasty and why it can be so damaging to your health.
Slow Or Improper Recovery
Smoking increases the carbon monoxide within the blood. This carbon monoxide combines with your body’s supply of hemoglobin, which limits the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen to the cells. Without a proper supply of oxygen, your cells will heal much slower. Nicotine and carbon monoxide also shrink blood vessels, limiting blood flow. This elongates the patient’s recovery time and opens up the door for improper healing, risking the desired results of the surgery.
A non-smoker can expect their rhinoplasty recovery stages to look like the following:
- Week 1: Removal of your nose splint. Bruising and facial swelling will be noticeable, particularly around the eyes.
- Week 2: Bruising and swelling should not have decreased.
- Week 3-4: Now can resume normal cardio-type activities.
- Week 6: Bones should now be strong enough for weight training and more strenuous activities.
- 3-6 Months: Numbness and skin sensitivities should not be gone.
- 1 Year: Totally healed give or take a month.
If you begin to smoke before the 3-4 week mark then expect longer timelines. You should also consult your doctor more often throughout the healing process.
Nicotine causes what was once large, healthy blood vessels to shrink. This means that the blood in your body can no longer flow as freely. Resulting in oxygen not getting to the damaged tissues very quickly.
This is quite dangerous after surgery as you have a lot of damaged tissues that need healthy nutrients and oxygen from the blood cells.
This lack of oxygen can result in tissues dying. If the damaged cells from your rhinoplasty are not properly supplied with oxygen, you could lose skin from your face or your nose.
Smoking causes a delay in the formation of healing tissues. This is mainly due to the lack of oxygen making its way to the wound through the blood cells. This slow healing can increase the chance of large scars.
Smoke from a cigarette can stimulate cells to stay alive during the healing process, but it also decreases their ability to move. This can cause cells to clump up right at the margin of the wound, which causes increased scarring.
If your rhinoplasty includes correcting a deviated septum or other airway obstruction issues, then smoking after the procedure should be avoided for a few weeks minimum.
As discusses, smoking shrinks blood vessels, slowing down the healing process. If the airway cannot heal properly that could cause not only infection but prolonged breathing issues and longer downtime post-procedure.
Heart Complications And Increased Blood Pressure
Smoking increases a patient’s blood pressure, putting them at a higher risk for bleeding during surgery, a heart attack, or issues affecting the anesthesia.
After you undergo something traumatic to the body, such as surgery, your cells need lots of oxygen and nutrients to heal. The nicotine and carbon monoxide from cigarettes narrows the arteries, decreasing the necessary oxygen from the blood, slowing down healing. Any delay in healing can greatly increase the risk of infection as well as the desired results of the rhinoplasty.
Higher Infection Risk
Our bodies are constantly fighting and battling all different types of bacteria, toxins, allergens, you name it. So after surgery, our cells are working double-time to help heal the nose and all the disturbed bone and tissue.
It is said that nicotine can affect the neutrophils blood cell. This cell plays a major role in healing damaged tissues and preventing infection, so extremely important after undergoing major reconstructive surgery. Smoking after surgery can reduce this cell’s ability to properly heal the nose, compromising both your health and your desired results.
Get In Touch
If you’re considering rhinoplasty and would like to talk more about your options, particularly if you are a smoker, get in touch. Dr. Rival and his talented team at the Newmarket and Central Toronto Cosmetic Surgery offices can answer all of your questions, offer their expertise, and get you booked in for a procedure. Book a consultation today.