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Facelift Surgery – Getting Around Complications For Smokers Posted By: Andrea Avery

There is no doubt that a facelift patient wants to do everything possible to ensure the best results. A lot of money is being invested into this person’s appearance and to throw it all away would be a waste. However, when it comes to cigarette smoking, potential patients often stop short and wonder if they will be able to proceed with the surgery if they cannot take enough of a break from the habit.

Why Smoke Is Bad for Surgery

During a facelift, incisions are made and the body is changed. For some, the changes are minor while others tend to look completely different once it is complete. Either way, blood flow needs to take place in order for the body to heal. In fact, the oxygen found in the blood is what keeps skin looking healthy. When the amount of oxygen is limited, the results are not pretty.

Smoking tends to make the blood vessels narrow. As they constrict, they limit the amount of blood flow taking place and less oxygen gets moved around the body. Having the facelift in the first place is already cutting out some of the blood vessels to the skin. Skin death can occur if there is not enough oxygen to keep it healthy. While this does sound unappealing, just imagine making a major cosmetic improvement only to find that the skin in that area starts to die and decay. There is a real risk to the skin if a person continues to smoke.


This does not mean that a smoker cannot have a facelift. It does mean that he or she will need to take a break before, during and after the operation to allow the body to function properly. During the time, the blood needs to be able to travel smoothly, without anything standing in its way. Smokers should not count on nicotine gum to get them through this experience. Nicotine is the culprit behind the restriction of the blood vessels. The only way to proceed is to quit without these types of assistance and try to stay off these items, as well as cigarettes, until the surgeon gives the okay.

Time Limit

The best way to find out when a facelift patient needs to stop smoking involves talking with a surgeon. The consensus is that a person should refrain from smoking, or any type of nicotine consumption, for at least two weeks before the procedure, at least two weeks after and all of the time in between. For patients that are concerned about skin death and any other complications, it cannot hurt to plan to quit sooner and wait until later to get started back up again.

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