Complete smoking cessation a few weeks leading up to plastic surgery has become a common practice to reduce risk of skin necrosis, pulmonary- and heart-related complications, and poor healing and scarring, according to the California Surgical Institute website.
However, a recent study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has found that many patients receiving smoking cessation instructions had kick the habit for good or at least smoked less frequently years after their surgery.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver have suggested that “surgeons who request pre-operative smoking cessation may influence patients’ long-term smoking status.”
The researchers enlisted 47 patients who responded to a 5-year follow-up survey, although five social smokers were later excluded to make sure that the study only involved “bona fide” daily smokers. Most respondents were women whose average age was 40.
Most respondents requested for tummy tuck, breast lift, and facelift.
In the follow-up survey, 25 percent of patients had quit smoking since their cosmetic surgery, while 40 percent said they smoked less. Most patients said the frequency of their cigarette use was reduced to a varying degree, citing their surgery as a strong motivation to live a healthier life.
The authors of the study have concluded that people were more likely to quit smoking or at least reduce their tobacco use when they were presented with “specific negative effects of smoking” rather than with “general health benefits of smoking cessation.”