Gynecomastia Surgery and the Danger of Smoking
Planning for gynecomastia surgery can be an exciting time. To get the best possible results, the patient needs to follow all directions given by their surgeon. Miguel Delgado, M.D. gives all of his cosmetic plastic surgery patients a detailed information booklet to guide them through all pre-operative and post-operative instructions.
There are many important guidelines that need to be followed such as; avoiding blood thinners that can cause complications during and after surgery. The information booklet gives a detailed list of herbs, vitamins and supplements that must be stopped two weeks before and two weeks after surgery.
In addition to avoiding blood thinners, one of the most important warnings given to patients is the mandatory abstinence from smoking. Two weeks before and two weeks after surgery would be the minimum, however, longer or permanently would be better.
Many patients who have a hard time quitting smoking may decide a little bit won’t hurt, or if having just one who will know? Cigarettes are incredibly addictive, and it is understandable why patients have such a hard time stopping.
There are several reasons it is imperative that the patient quits smoking before surgery. Cigarette smoke is known to have more than 250 toxins including; carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, nitric oxide and of course nicotine. These toxins all interfere with wound healing.
Oxygen is delivered to the tissues via the blood vessels. Oxygenated blood fights infection and is the means of transport for antibiotics and other medications through the body. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, when this happens it is possible for blood clots to form affecting blood flow to the capillaries. When there is a reduction in blood flow to the tissues, the cells may die causing what is known as necrosis. When necrosis occurs, the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed requiring debridement which is surgical removal. When debridement is necessary, the surgical outcome may be less than optimal.
There have been many studies done showing surgical results between patients who smoke versus the non-smoker. The studies show that smokers are much more likely to develop pneumonia, have a stroke, cardiac arrest or a heart attack. Additionally, smokers need more anesthesia and pain medication.
For a patient not to disclose that fact that they smoke to their surgeon would be a serious mistake, far better would be to enlist the help of your surgeon. Miguel Delgado, M.D. has helped many patients quit smoking by prescribing prescriptions such as Chantix. Remember, Dr. Delgado’s main goal is the safety of his patients so they can move forward with their gynecomastia reduction goals.