Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery performed in a hospital or an office. Despite its cosmetic purpose, patients are required to follow the same basic preparative procedures as general surgery. This includes discontinuing certain medications such as birth control pills, aspirin, and ibuprofen. These and other medications can cause thickening or thinning of the blood and result in complications during or after surgery. During consultation, the doctor will advise where other medications and nutritional supplements may also need to be discontinued. There is one other preparation for liposuction that may come as a surprise. The patient is required to quit smoking least three weeks before and after surgery.
The phrase, “smoking is bad” is perhaps an understatement. We know that it is bad for our health. We have heard that plenty of times. Yet, often times, we don’t quite believe it is as bad as experts say. Even when we believe that it causes lung cancer and can ultimately kill us, we remain in the same mindset as knowing that greasy foods clog arteries and yet we continue to frequent our favorite fast food restaurants. However, knowing that our body must be clear of nicotine in order to have a successful liposuction procedure gives us reason to pause and reconsider.
Smoking highly increases risks during surgery. The nicotine found in tobacco, nicotine patches, and nicotine gum reduces blood circulation which can cause chest infection after anesthesia. Inadequate blood circulation also affects the rate of recovery after surgery. In liposuction, surgical success depends upon the elasticity of the patient’s skin. If the blood is not circulating well, then the skin loses its elasticity. Then, during the recovery process, the patient will be disappointed with the results. Instead of the tight, slim, beautiful body they had imagined, they are left with wrinkled, saggy skin that screams surgery.
Like all surgeries, liposuction is a stress on the body. Common side effects related to that stress can include fluctuating body temperature, irregularities in the menstrual cycle, dizziness, swelling, and nausea. All of these side effects can be linked to poor blood quality and circulation. Poor blood quality can mean low amounts of oxygen distributed throughout the body resulting in the aforementioned side effects. It can cause clotting as well. Risk of these side effects are increased in smokers.
Because liposuction is a surgery, patients can expect time for recovery. The length of recovery can vary with patients according to their pre-surgical physical condition. It also varies according to the amount of fat and fluids removed during surgery. A non-smoking patient can expect a much shorter recovery period than that of an habitual smoker.