Cosmetic surgery procedures like breast augmentation, liposuction, and facelifts are becoming increasingly popular today. However, these procedures still carry risks, like any surgery. That’s why it’s crucial to follow your plastic surgeon’s pre-op instructions to minimise complications. One thing you should absolutely avoid is vaping before going under the knife. Here’s why:
Increased Risk of Complications
Vaping introduces nicotine and other chemicals into your bloodstream. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows your blood vessels. This can reduce blood flow during and after your procedure. Restricted blood circulation impedes wound healing and increases your risk of infections, excessive bleeding, and poor scarring.
Additionally, the propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine in vape liquids impair immune system function. A weakened immune system cannot fight off bacteria properly, raising the chances of surgical site infections.
Problems With Anaesthesia
Anesthesia ensures you remain sedated, pain-free, and motionless during surgery. It also helps control bleeding. However, nicotine can interfere with anaesthesia medications.
People who use nicotine regularly require higher anaesthesia doses to keep them under control. Sudden nicotine withdrawal right before surgery can also make anaesthesia less effective. This makes it harder for the anesthesiologist to keep you properly sedated.
Additionally, if you’re under general anesthesia, the coughing caused by vaping increases your risk of aspiration. Aspiration is when stomach contents or saliva enter your airway and lungs. It can lead to serious pneumonia.
Increased Bleeding Risks
When administered under anaesthesia, the nicotine present in our body can sometimes cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. This stimulates a reflex response that dilates blood vessels and increases bleeding.
Greater bleeding raises your risk of hematomas or seromas. Hematomas are pockets of blood that collect outside blood vessels. Seromas are pockets of clear fluid that can appear after tissue trauma from surgery. Both can lead to increased swelling, bruising, and poor healing if not drained. Excessive bleeding also often requires blood transfusions.
Poorer Surgical Outcomes
All the above complications ultimately increase your risk of a poor cosmetic surgery outcome. If you vape before surgery, you may end up with:
- – Wound breakdown and wider, more visible scars
- – Infection that requires antibiotic treatment or drainage
- – Collection of fluid or blood under your incision site
- – Asymmetry due to excess swelling or bleeding
- – Skin loss (necrosis) around your incision sites
These complications can all compromise your final cosmetic results. You may need revision surgery or experience permanent scarring or changes to your appearance.
When to Stop Vaping Before Surgery
To avoid these risks, you should stop vaping well in advance of your procedure date. Most plastic surgeons recommend quitting at least:
- – 2 weeks before surgery for minor procedures like eyelid lifts or facelifts
- – 4 weeks before major operations like tummy tucks, breast enlargement, or body contouring
What to Expect When Quitting Vaping
Quitting vaping cold turkey is challenging. Most people will experience some withdrawal symptoms, like:
- – Headaches
- – Anxiety and irritability
- – Difficulty concentrating
- – Disrupted sleep patterns
- – Increased appetite and weight gain
Anti-smoking aids like nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches can ease cravings and symptoms. Talk to your doctor about using nicotine replacement therapy. Also, try to avoid stress and seek support from loved ones. Make yourself busy in other stuff.
After your procedure, you must also avoid vaping during the recovery period. Your cosmetic surgeon will advise you when it is safe to return to vaping, usually 4-6 weeks post-op.
While some risks come with any cosmetic surgery, you can minimise complications from cosmetic procedures by stopping vaping well before your operation. Avoiding e-cigarettes and other tobacco products will support healing and give you the best cosmetic outcome. Be sure to follow all your surgeon’s pre-and post-operative instructions.