Liposuction continues to be an ideal surgical technique for dramatic body-contouring results. It produces new contours faster than non-invasive alternatives can, is generally low risk, doesn’t require a long recovery time, and only causes small scars. The procedure can be a useful tool for body contouring—also referred to as body sculpting, a term referring to a range of procedures intended for altering the contours of the body by modifying fat, skin or muscle. While it is great for removing fat from almost any area of the body, doctors at Cosmetic Surgery Institute explain to patients in the Los Angeles basin area that liposuction for body contouring’s success hinges on them avoiding nicotine before and after surgery.

You may have noticed in your research before the big day that cigarette smoking is emphasized on just about every list of things to avoid before going in for plastic surgery. Some surgeons recommend staying away from cigarettes for a few weeks or up to a month before the operation and for a long time afterward as well. But why exactly is smoking so bad for you—in this specific case?

In short, smoking makes you much more likely to develop post-operative complications after liposuction surgery. If you’re a regular or heavy smoker, surgeons understand that giving up the habit can be difficult, but they can also help you find support during this time.

A chemical called nicotine, which is contained in cigarettes—and such cigarette substitutes as gum, patches, chewing tobacco, pipes, cigars, etc.—is the source of the problem. When you have plastic surgery, some of the blood vessels are severed, and it’s up to the remaining intact vessels to supply the oxygen and nutrients needed by the rest of your body. This includes the incision sites and tissues in the surgical site that need to heal. Poor healing can lead to poor results. Scars may be more pronounced and visible, since nicotine restricts blood flow and inhibits oxygen supply to cells.

If you still continue smoking, your surgeon may not want to administer liposuction. Complications from pre-op and post-op smoking may include infections, fat necrosis, blood clots, increased pain, and thick scars.

Are you ready for a new you? Get started on your plastic surgery journey today with help from the Cosmetic Surgery Institute team. To schedule a consult regarding liposuction for body contouring in the Los Angeles basin area, connect with us by phoning (760) 837-0364 or sending a message.