Summary: Have you been wondering: can smoking damage your nipples? The answer is, unfortunately, yes. In fact, there are even some instances in which smoking can cause your nipples to fall off! That’s why, today, we’re talking about the way that nicotine can affect the outcome of your plastic surgery procedure. This is especially important for smokers who want a procedure performed (and who we implore to discuss their smoking habit with their surgeons).
Can Smoking Damage Your Nipples After Surgery?
Smoking is bad for you. Everyone (just about) agrees on that. Even smokers! But can smoking damage your nipples? It turns out the answer is: yes. Though, that’s true mostly in certain circumstances. Likewise, there are several other body parts that might actually fall off if you smoke at the wrong time.
Yet, smoking is still stubbornly common. It’s nowhere near as universal as it used to be (thank goodness). But it’s never difficult to find the co-worker or the family member or the friend who still smokes tobacco. And that’s not even including newer trends, such as “vaping.”
But when you’re getting plastic surgery, the dangers involved with smoking go beyond the long term and suddenly become very, very prescient. Let’s put it this way: smoking cigarettes after certain plastic surgery procedures could make your nipples fall off.
So can smoking damage your nipples? Yes—and it can go far beyond “damage.”
Smoking is an Addiction
It would be beneficial for us to stop for a minute and remember that smoking is indeed an addiction. Too often, people treat smoking (and tobacco use) as a simple choice. This tends to lead to a little bit of unwarranted shaming. And that doesn’t really help anyone. When you’re addicted to something, the physical and mental challenge of cutting back is daunting.
There’s actually some evidence to suggest that plastic surgery can be a useful motivator to patients who want to quit smoking. Perhaps that’s because plastic surgery can be used as both the carrot and the stick.
- Carrot: You are looking forward to how your body is going to transform after your procedure. If this is a procedure you’ve wanted for some time, you’re probably incredibly excited. This means you have a lot of positive emotions fueling your decision to cut back on cigarette smoking.
- Stick: Blood flow and blood circulation are both pretty big keys to your recovery—and to everything working properly afterwards. Smoking can face a prolonged (and sometimes quite uncomfortable) recovery period should they continue to smoke after surgery.
That said, if you do smoke and you intend on quitting, you should always inform your surgeon of that situation. Withdrawal can have significant physiological effects on the body. And if you’re taking medications to help with quitting, your surgeon should be aware of any potential interactions before surgery.
What’s the Worst That Could Happen?
Let’s say you’ve decided to have nipple surgery. There are plenty of procedures that make incisions around your nipple. You could be getting a Mommy Makeover in Orange County, for example. Or you could be getting a Breast Lift in Florida. It makes no difference.
If you smoke after these procedures, here’s what could you happen: Your nipple could turn black and then fall off. Now, we’re picking on the nipple a bit, but the same thing could happen during a facelift: if you smoke, the skin could turn black and then fall off.
That’s because the nicotine and carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. That lack of oxygen during these healing stages can actually cause the skin cells to die. And once that starts happening, you begin to see the terrible side effects.
What Should I Avoid?
We fully acknowledge that smoking is an addiction. Nicotine is addicting, of course. But your health and your results depend on patients avoiding these products during recovery.
Most patients will want to avoid:
- Smoking nicotine products (such as cigarettes, cigars, and pipes)
- Chewing nicotine products (such as chewing tobacco)
- Using nicotine gum or nicotine patches
- Vaping nicotine products
Indeed, the use of any nicotine related product can seriously diminish your chances of achieving an optimal result. And if you smoke, your nipple really could fall off.
Achieving Healthy Looking Results
Ultimately, the goal of your plastic surgery procedure, whether it’s that Mommy Makeover or a nipple reduction surgery or a facelift, is to achieve a healthy looking, transformational result.
In order to do that, you have to be honest with your surgeon. That means if you do happen to smoke, you can’t hide that fact because you’re afraid your surgeon will say no to the procedure. It is vitally important that your surgeon be aware of your health and your habits.
Because that awareness will help with the planning. If you’re wondering: can smoking damage your nipples, it’s probably not an idle thought. There are reasons why you’re thinking about this. And your surgeon is the best person to go to, especially if you also want plastic surgery!