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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: eCigs & Facial Plastic Surgery

by | May 19, 2017 | Blog

Our practice in Edgecliff is a no-judgment zone. We only offer opinions about a patient’s lifestyle when we feel a behaviour is detrimental to surgery success. Today, we’re looking at smoking. More specifically, we’re sharing important information about how the vaping craze is affecting the world of facial plastic surgery and sharing important new findings published in February 2017.

What We Know

Although eCigs have been with us for more than a decade, scientists agree that more definitive research is needed. However, here’s what we do know at this time about the components in eCigs and how they may affect your cosmetic surgery results:

  • Nicotine – Nicotine causes reduced blood flow (vasoconstriction). This increases the risk of post-surgical complications and poor wound healing.
  • Propylene Glycol – This chemical found in e-liquids can irritate the eyes and airways.
  • Chemicals of Unknown Origin – As their production is largely not regulated, labelling may not note toxic ingredients that could affect a surgical outcome.

Nicotine Isn’t the Only Culprit

A patient that smokes marijuana regularly faces the same risks as one that smokes cigarettes. Marijuana causes your blood vessels to relax, increases heart rate, and may cause your blood pressure to fall. “This can dangerously exacerbate problems should a patient’s blood pressure begin to fall due to issues during the procedure,” explains Dr Marcells.

Some patients smoke before surgery to relax. They don’t realise that marijuana can also influence the way your body responds to anaesthesia. People who vape marijuana or tobacco are more likely than non-smokers to

  • Be on a ventilator longer
  • Have a greater risk of developing pneumonia after surgery
  • Experience the failure of skin flaps used in many procedures
  • Experience more extensive scarring at the site of incisions

Smoking after Cosmetic Surgery

Using eCigs and vaping after cosmetic surgery is also a problem. In one study, more than 50% of smokers who resumed their habit after surgery developed complications, in comparison to less than 20% that didn’t. “Fewer complications can mean less time in the hospital and a quicker recovery,” reports Dr Marcells. “Who doesn’t want that?”

Let Us Help You

The bottom line is this: people who stop their use of eCigs and vapes are more likely to come out of surgery looking healthy, as well as beautiful. Don’t you want to be one of the beautiful people? We know it’s tough to refrain from an activity you enjoy, whether it’s eating chocolate cake or vaping. That’s why we do our utmost to give each patient the understanding they need to make necessary changes. If that sounds good to you, please use our online enquiry form or call us on 1300 555 095 in Edgecliff.

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Meet Dr Marcells

MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons

Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.

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