Smoking is one of the most difficult habits for a person to quit. Most patients who consider plastic surgery are surprised to learn that smoking is a problem and increases surgical complications. According to a recent online article recent findings focusing on over 1 million women smokers found that they more than tripled their risk of dying early when compared with women who did not smoke. Between 1996 and 2001 scientist from the University of Oxford and United Kingdom surveyed and questioned women regarding to their smoking habits, medical history, and social status. 20% were smokers, the 52% had never smoked, and 28% were ex-smokers. Women were surveyed and questioned every two years throughout the study. The study lasted more than 12 years. During this time 66,000 participants passed away. Those who smoked throughout the study were three times as likely to die in the nine years that followed when compared to non-smokers in the study. Medical professionals agree that the sooner patients quit smoking the greater the likelihood that they will live longer. Dr. Seify explains to patients who are smokers that the risks of surgical complications are increased for those patients. Surgeries including facelift, breast lift, breast reduction, and brachioplasty are some of the surgeries with increased risk for smokers. While delayed wound healing is a major concern, the likelihood that scarring will heal with unattractive markings increases with smokers. Cosmetic surgery procedures that are primarily for lifting and tightening skin could heal poorly for smokers due to the tension that is required to hold the incision together. It is best if patients can quit smoking at least three weeks prior to surgery and a minimum of four weeks after surgery. Of course, the ideal situation would be for patients to quit smoking altogether after surgery. Patients who are considering cosmetic plastic surgery procedures are encouraged to contact Dr. Seify to see which plastic surgery procedures are right for them.
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