Your Chance for a Better Recovery
When it comes time for your cosmetic consultation, one of the things that will come up in determining whether surgery is right for you is whether or not you smoke. This is because smoking increases the risk of complications after surgery, and thus might make you ineligible for a given procedure.
Smoking increases your risk of problems during and after your surgery. Quitting 4 to 6 weeks before your surgery and staying smoke-free 4 weeks after it can decrease your rate of wound complications by 50 percent. Quitting permanently can add years to your life.
Prepare for your Quit Day
As listed on the American Cancer Society website:
- Pick the date and mark it on your calendar.
- Tell friends and family about your Quit Day.
- Get rid of all the cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work.
- Stock up on oral substitutes (sugarless gum, carrot sticks, hard candy, cinnamon sticks, coffee stirrers, straws, and/or toothpicks).
- Decide on a plan. Will you use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or other medicines? Will you attend a stop-smoking class? If so, sign up now.
- Practice saying, “No thank you, I don’t smoke.”
- Set up a support system, which could be a group program such as Nicotine Anonymous or a friend or family member who has successfully quit. Ask family and friends who still smoke not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out where you can see them.
- Think back to your past attempts to quit. Try to figure out what worked and what did not work for you.
After surgery, it is important that you do not start smoking again, even if you only quit 12 hours before surgery. Allow your body to recover and heal properly. Smoking makes recovery harder by stressing your heart, affecting your blood pressure and reducing oxygen in your blood and body tissues.