Smoking and Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast reconstruction can help patients feel emotionally and physically complete. Improved reconstruction techniques and new treatments mean that patients have more options for breast reconstruction and better outcomes.

If you are thinking about breast reconstruction, talk to us at Breast Reconstruction Associates, you breast reconstructive surgery experts in Dallas. This allows not only you, but your medical team to formulate the best treatment plan for you. This is imperative, especially if you are a smoker.

It’s general knowledge that smoking can cause a lot of health concerns, but for patients who are about to undergo breast reconstruction, the effects can be devastating. Smokers heal poorly, especially for those who undergo surgery that requires a flap of tissue to repair the wound. The risk of complications for smokers is very high, and this is why there are plastic surgeons who won’t perform the procedure for their patients unless they quit smoking.

Here are more reasons why smokers should quit before undergoing breast reconstruction surgery:

1. Smoking impedes normal lung and heart function

Smoking hinders both lung and heart function, and heightens the patient’s risk for lung and heart complications during (and after) surgery. In fact, a recent study found that smokers have about 80 percent greater risk of heart attack after the procedure compared to nonsmokers.

2. Smoking causes poor wound healing

Smoking can interfere and slow down the healing of body tissues, including the skin. Smokers have a high percentage of having wound infection after surgery, longer hospital stays, longer healing times, poor scarring, concerns with new scars opening up, and a less favorable appearance of the reconstructed breast.

3. Smoking complicates anesthesia

Smokers’ lungs do not respond to anesthesia in the same way as a non-smokers’ lungs. A smoker’s lungs are more prone to complications linked with anesthesia, like pneumonia.

We at Breast Reconstruction Associates, you breast reconstructive surgery specialists in Dallas, urge you to quit the smoking habit at least 6 weeks before the procedure, and not resume it after surgery. Today, a wide range of smoking assistive methods and cessation counselling are available – and they can help patients better prepare themselves for the best outcome possible.