Every responsible plastic surgeon advises that quitting smoking at least 4 weeks before and 2 weeks after any surgical procedure is beneficial for their patients. But, is it safe to inhale vaping before and after surgery? The well-known answer of this question is to quit this habit before surgery because the risks and effects of smoking can be harmful to the result of the operation.
How Does Vaping Infect the Human Body After Surgery?
As a healthier alternative, vaping liquid also contains nicotine that leads to poor healing. The nicotine present in the vaping has a detrimental effect on blood vessels and steals the oxygen from tissues. This will result in a decrease to healthy circulation, which delays healing and can lead to poor scarring, infection and other dangerous complications.
It is a categorical contraindication for performing rejuvenating and reconstructive operations due to the high risk of developing postoperative complications and the inability to fully ensure the realization of the patient’s desire to change his appearance. It also significantly increases the risk of complications during and after surgery.
So, when performing plastic surgery, people who continue to smoke face an increased risk of the following conditions:
Insufficient Oxygen Supply to the Tissue
The combustion products of tobacco can significantly reduce the oxygen content in the tissues. Nicotine in vaping causes the narrowing of small vessels of the skin within 60-90 minutes. It is easy to calculate that a smoking person spends most of the day in conditions of chronic oxygen starvation.
Nicotine increases heart rate, disrupts heart rhythm and increases blood pressure, thereby increasing the body’s need for oxygen. The carbon monoxide contained in tobacco smoke easily combines with the hemoglobin of the blood, displacing oxygen, which leads to impaired delivery of the latter to the tissues. This dictates the need to provide additional oxygen during general anesthesia to protect vital organs, primarily the brain and heart.
High Probability of Blood Clots
Smokers are characterized by thickening of the blood. This thick and sticky blood can generate clots. If a clot travels to the heart or lungs, then a life-threatening pulmonary embolism can occur. In addition, increased fibrinogen concentration and platelet activity have been proven. These factors suggest a high risk of arterial and venous thrombosis during surgery and in the early postoperative period.
Changes in the Metabolism of Drugs Used for Anesthesia
Nicotine and smoking alter the metabolism of anesthetic drugs. The combustion products of tobacco affect the enzyme system of the liver, which leads to an accelerated breakdown of opioids. Also, smoking patients may need higher doses of muscle relaxants. It is undesirable for anesthesiologists to use anesthetics that have a stimulating effect on the cardiovascular system for people who smoke.
Slowdown the Healing Process in the Postoperative Period
Smoking has an inhibitory effect on the time of appearance and differentiation of cells involved in the healing process. Cellular elements become inactive, concentrated mainly along the edge of the wound surface, increasing the likelihood of the formation of coarse scars. The width of the postoperative scar after a longitudinal incision in smoking patients is 37% wider than in those who do not smoke. After a transverse incision, the scar becomes 25% wider.
Analysis of the results of plastic surgery on the face showed that among patients with various complications, 80% are heavy smokers. The probability of hair loss in the area of operation and the risk of rejection of displaced flaps in adherents of smoking is almost 13 times higher than in patients who do not smoke. A longer healing process can cause scars to heal irregularly.
Higher Probability of Infection of the Wound
Cessation of smoking before the planned operation reduces the likelihood of infection of the surgical wounds from 27% in those who continue to smoke to zero in those patients who have stopped smoking. Nicotine makes your immune system weaker and makes it easier to infect your body. This shows that infection is dangerous to your health and can negatively affect your results. The optimal term for cessation of smoking before plastic surgery should be considered a period of at least 4-6 weeks.
Occurrence of Respiratory Complications
Smokers are likely to develop various complications of the respiratory organs in the postoperative period. Smoking increases production and changes the consistency of mucus in the airways, reducing its protective function. Products of tobacco combustion cause chronic inflammation with mandatory edema and narrowing of the lumen of the respiratory tract, which ultimately leads to the destruction of the elastic structure of the lungs and the development of emphysema.
Create Effects on the Blood Vessels
Nicotine has an effect on the blood vessels of the whole body. They become narrowed, as a result of which the blood supply to some areas may be reduced or difficult. In a healthy state, this phenomenon may not even be noticed, but after Anesthesia and surgical intervention, the immunity remains in a weakened state, and the body is particularly acute and sensitive to any functional impairment.
Slow Down the Blood Circulation
Substances that slow down blood circulation and inhibit the interaction of hemoglobin and oxygen is caused by nicotine and carbon monoxide. Due to circulation difficulties, the blood stagnates in the vessels. Most often it occurs in the area that has undergone surgical correction like for healing of injuries. The body sends biological resources to the intervention area with blood. Meanwhile, blood stasis can provoke thrombosis or even tissue necrosis, due to the fact that cells do not receive enough oxygen and nutrition.
The info above outlines some general concerns for smokers considering plastic surgery. You need to stop using nicotine as vaping and smoking before the operation and make every effort not to resume it after surgery. It can put you at risk of poor healing, infection, and other dangerous complications, if you will resume smoking or vaping during recovery or before your incision sites, have healed. Therefore, you need to quit it in advance or after surgery.