Why is smoking so bad before cosmetic surgery?

Smoking and cosmetic surgery do not go well together.  Certain procedures are less susceptible to wound healing problems than others but the reasons for stopping are clear.

Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. The nicotine causes constriction or tightening of the blood vessels. What this means is that less blood makes it to a healing wound and the blood that makes it has less oxygen. The combination leads to an increase in wound healing problems such as tissue loss and wide scars.

When you are having cosmetic surgery the goals are to achieve the best possible results. Smoking is something that can be controlled and eliminated to improve your results. Smoking before and soon after a surgery such as a tummy tuck will increase your chances of losing skin and creating wide problematic scars.

Nicotine patches are just as harmful. So you will need to stop those too.

How long should you stop smoking before a procedure?

The longer the better. It can take months or years to completely reverse the harm done by smoking. Three (3) weeks is considered to be the absolute minimum to get some useful improvement. Also do not smoke at all during the healing period.

If you are tempted to smoke please remember that you are harming yourself, and only you can stop you from doing it.