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Smoking Before Breast Augmentation: Avoid at All Cost!


When it comes to surgical procedures, the healthier you are the better you recover, and the fewer complications you will have during the surgery as well. Different habits have different impacts on our life and health. One of those habits is smoking. If you are planning to get any type of cosmetic surgery, especially breast augmentation, we recommend you read this article to learn about the repercussions of smoking on your breast augmentation surgery and its outcome. Here are some of the most important things you will learn about smoking before your plastic surgery procedure:

  • Whether or not stopping smoking is necessary before your surgery and why is it important to do so
  • What are the effects and differences between smoking traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes or vapes are
  • Forms of marijuana and its usage and effect on your breast augmentation procedure
  • A timeline of health improvement after quitting and how your body changes through it
Smoking Before Breast Augmentation Side Effects

Do you have to stop smoking before breast augmentation?

Yes! You have to quit smoking 4 to 6 weeks before getting breast augmentation surgery. Here are some of the main reasons why you should stop smoking before the breast augmentation procedure.

  • Lungs and airways function: Cigarette smoke irritates the lungs and the airways which causes inflammation, therefore making it harder for you to be intubated during surgery. This is done by the anesthesiologist to help you breathe during surgery. If your lungs and airways are inflamed during your breast augmentation it can even lead to death.
  • Heart complications: Smoking and more specifically nicotine affects your heart rate. An unstable heart rate is very dangerous during surgery.
  • Bleeding: Smoking causes excessive bleeding during surgery which can be deadly. This can make it more challenging for your surgeon to perform the surgery with the risk of you bleeding out.
  • Wound complications: Nicotine causes the blood vessels to become narrower therefore harder for oxygen to reach your surgical wound making it harder to heal. Delayed wound healing can also cause infections and could raise the risk of tissue death.

Why can't you smoke before breast augmentation?

Now, as with any other substance, nicotine takes a while to leave your system. Therefore, in order to avoid the complications mentioned above, medical professionals need to make sure that you stop your nicotine intake well before surgery.

What happens if you don't stop smoking and still go into surgery?

Every surgery involves risks and your plastic surgeon, anesthesiologist, and other medical staff that are involved in the process try their best to keep you safe. However, you’re still responsible for your own habits, and you should also be doing whatever it takes for you to remain safe.

If you do not stop smoking before the surgery, there is a great chance that you’ll run into complications during the surgery, such as respiratory and heart rate issues due to anesthesia interacting with the nicotine in your system.

If you keep smoking after the surgery, since nicotine restricts the blood flow to the skin, your wound will take longer to heal, and may not even heal properly at all. And with a longer healing time, the risk for tissue death (necrosis) and infections increase.

Nicotine: Tobacco & Vaping

You might be smoking traditional cigarettes or using electronic cigarettes, also known as vapes. Either way, they are ways to deliver nicotine to your body. Yes, there have been arguments about whether or not vapes are better than cigarettes. This doesn’t take away from its effects of it on your body. The effects of nicotine on the body are great, here are the most important side effects that can present dire complications during surgery:

  • Constricted arteries: Arteries and other blood vessels become smaller and narrower.
  • Increasing the heart rate: Constricted arteries prevent the blood to flow easily so the heart needs to work more to pump the blood through the body.
  • Higher blood pressure: Another result of constricted arteries and blood vessels and the heart working harder. 
  • Excess oxygen use by the heart: Nicotine constricts the blood flow and prevents the body to receive the amount of oxygen it needs. 
  • Premature aging of the skin: Nicotine impairs the blood flow to the skin, making it lose nutrients and water. This results in your skin looking less plump and youthful, and also makes skin unable to heal quickly.

Can I use nicotine gum, or nicotine patches before breast augmentation?

No. You might think it’s just about smoking but It’s not about the method of delivery it’s about what it is being delivered, which in this case is nicotine. It is best to stop using any nicotine gum or patches before your breast augmentation surgery. The less nicotine there is in your body the better your surgery and recovery time would be.


In recent years marijuana or weed also referred to as pot is becoming more popular to use. When it comes to marijuana there are many rules and laws regarding its use whether recreational or medical marijuana. Before getting into the legal stuff let’s talk about the main chemicals in marijuana. The two main chemicals are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC and CBD have different effects on the body.

THC is a psychoactive chemical that gives the sensation of being high when you smoke marijuana or eat it as edible marijuana. On the other hand, CBD doesn’t have the same effects as THC. You can say that CBD is the more medical part of marijuana. Most doctors and surgeons don’t recommend smoking marijuana before surgery since marijuana smoke can irritate the airways and lungs same as smoking cigarettes. There is more division when it comes to edible marijuana since it doesn’t involve smoking but it still has the same chemicals reaching the bloodstream and affecting the body. With marijuana, there are still risks when it comes to surgery and they include:

  • Needing more anesthesia which can make it difficult to return from post-surgery
  • Experiencing more pain than requiring more painkillers during recovery time
  • Higher blood pressure that can lead to excessive bleeding during surgery
  • Raised heart rate which can make it challenging to stabilize during surgery and can lead to a heart attack or blood clot

Even if you are not using marijuana regularly or you are, it is best to avoid using it in any type or form before your surgery to lower the risks.

There are long-term and short-term effects. The long-term effects are still being researched by scientists and are mostly unclear but here are some of the short-term effects of THC and CBD:

Effects of THC on the Body

  • Increased heart rate: THC activates your “fight or flight” resulting in a higher heart rate.
  • Dry mouth: THC slows down the saliva-making process resulting in a dry mouth.
  • Bloodshot eyes: THC causes the small blood vessels to expand leading to the eyes looking red.
  • Muscle relaxation: THC has a relaxing effect on the big muscle of the body.
  • Cold or hot hands and feet: This is due to changes in blood pressure which affects the blood flow to the limbs such as hands and feet.

Effects of CBD on the Body

  • Diarrhea: This is due to CBD’s relaxing effect on the muscles. 
  • Dry mouth: Same as THC, CBD also slows down the process of making saliva in the body.
  • Loss of appetite: In some research, CBD has been shown to lower appetite by affecting the neuropathways of hunger.
  • Fatigue and drowsiness: CBD contributes to feeling tired and sleepy in most cases.
  • Interference with medications: CBD can interact with certain medications such as blood thinners, and can make the medication more potent/less effective.

While some of these effects may seem beneficiary when it comes to reducing anxiety before surgery, the possible complications are too dire to take the risk in the first place.

Can I take prescription marijuana before breast augmentation?

No. Prescribed or not, the effects of marijuana are not completely known and it’s still being researched. As far as researchers can tell smoking marijuana can increase the risk of potential complications such as excessive bleeding, blood clots, and other surgical complications that can threaten your life.

Can I have edibles before breast augmentation?

No. You might think why not? I’m not smoking it so it wouldn’t affect my lungs. Still, other chemicals get into your bloodstream and can interfere with your surgery. Marijuana has the effect to relax the muscles and therefore blood vessels resulting in blood pressure drop which can be dangerous during surgery.


Smokers of all kinds, whether cigarettes or marijuana, at one point or another have tried to quit smoking. So why not try and quit this time for good? Not only there are long-term benefits to quitting but also there are short-term benefits as well. Especially if you have an upcoming surgery may it be plastic surgery such as rhinoplasty or breast augmentation or a mandatory one.

The advantages of quitting are higher blood oxygen levels which is a direct result of reduced carbon monoxide in the bloodstream. This also means that cardiovascular capacity improves. All of this will benefit you in having a safe surgery with no life-threatening complications, and a faster and better recovery period.

Final Word

Now you know why you should not be smoking whether it is cigarettes or marijuana before your breast augmentation surgery. Of course, your habits and lifestyle are yours to live and choose. Changing them should be your own choice. But when it comes to smoking and its interference with mandatory or elective surgery it is best to take precautions and consider this information.

  • Smoking whether traditional cigarettes or electronic, or even different forms of marijuana can have devastating complications such as poor wound healing, tissue necrosis, and in severe cases even death.
  • Delayed wound healing is the result of nicotine in cigarettes. This is due to the blood vessels being constricted and reduced blood supply to the wound sight.
  • Even though marijuana doesn’t contain nicotine it still has other chemicals such as THC and CBD which have their own potential risk for surgery.
  • Marijuana smoke can irritate the lungs and raise the risk of complications during surgery. 
  • It is best to stop smoking and vaping as soon as you can before your surgery, at least 4-6 weeks in advance.

With all this said take into consideration quitting smoking for good. Not only it helps with your plastic surgery and recovery process it also has long-term benefits to it like a lower risk of a heart attack. We hope this has been helpful and informative for you.

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