kdhoward12 SAID:

I’m 21 I had my son 2 months ago, my stomach has drastically stretched. I have been looking into a tummy tuck and I do believe it is my best option but I do smoke. How does that affect my risk and recovery? Will I be turned down for the surgery because I smoke?

8 Answers

  1. DrAnitaPatel wrote on :

    Yes, most surgeons would turn you down for a tummy tuck if you are actively smoking. The problem with smoking (aside from increasing your risk for cancer and making you look older faster) is that the nicotine temporarily shrinks your blood vessels, making it harder to get oxygen and nutrients to your healing tissues. If you had surgery as a smoker, you would have a higher risk of wound healing problems, having part of your incision open up, or losing part or all of your belly button. When you are getting a cosmetic procedure the last thing you want to do is set yourself up for an ugly result. If you had your son 2 months ago, I would advise waiting at least 4 more months before having surgery, to allow your body to get back to normal before surgery. This gives you time to quit smoking, which is required for surgery, and also healthier for your son. :) Also, if you are planning to have more kids, it is better to wait until after you are done to have a tummy tuck.

  2. DrDianaBreisterGhosh wrote on :

    It is absolutely necessary you quit smoking before a Tummy Tuck procedure. Also if you are planning on having more children, you should wait to have your procedure until after you are done having children.

  3. DrJamesWethe wrote on :

    2 months is a bit early to make a decision about whether you need a tummy tuck but let’s get to your questions in any case. First, I would want to know if you are planning more children. It would not make great sense to do a formal tummy tuck and then get pregnant again as you could stretch out all the repair work you had done. Second, yes, smoking is a STRONG concern. The reason for this is that the nicotine in smoke is something that causes vasoconstriction…blood vessels shrink in size and don’t supply the tissues with enough blood. This can lead to areas of tissue that don’t either heal properly or just do not survive the procedure. This is not something that I am willing to risk for my patients. I ask that they stop all nicotine for at least 2 months prior and 1 month after surgery to limit that risk. Every plastic surgeon will have their ideas as to what is the correct answer to this issue but it most certainly should be an area of discussion prior to any planned tummy tuck type of procedure.
    J. Wethe, M.D.

  4. DrScottMiller wrote on :

    Clearly you have done your research. It does sound like your best option may be a tummy tuck. Only a tummy tuck can get rid of a large amount of excess skin, while also allowing for the removal of fat and tightening of the spread abdominal muscles.
    Smoking affects your response to anesthesia as well as your healing. Some surgeons may turn you away while others may modify the procedures for safety. Nevertheless, it is never a good idea to keep this from your doctor. I personally take this information, as I do all medical status and surgical history,into account and devise a personal customized surgical approach that best fits your needs, goals and expectations as well as your safety.

  5. DrCharlesSpenler wrote on :

    Hi Katie,

    Thanks for asking this important question. Smoking does affect your recovery and can create complications during the procedure itself. Besides that, secondhand smoke is not healthy for your little one. As a new mom, this is a great opportunity to quit smoking for good, both for your general good health, the health of your baby and your future tummy tuck! Best wishes to you!

  6. CurtisWongMD wrote on :

    Ms. Howard:

    Your question is certainly a valid one as some doctors will not operate on you if you’re still smoking. Others will inform you of the risks and modify the procedure to make it less risky and also result in less skin removal as long as you are accepting of the risks such as a coughing fit post-op and subsequent bleeding that will require going back to the OR at additional costs to you. So in reality, its best for you and your newborn for you to stop smoking and then you can have the procedure that will achieve your desired goals with minimal risk.

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