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Smoke & Mirrors: Before You Have a Face Lift…

by | Mar 11, 2016 | Blog, Facelift

People who visit Dr Marcells for cosmetic surgery are prepared to give up a lot, or so they think. Most patients are able to make peace with the fact that they will have to stay under wraps (literally) for a week, take time off from work, temporarily suspend exercise, and curtail social activities for a few weeks after a facelift.

There’s one thing, however, that a majority of patients hadn’t anticipated giving up, and that’s smoking.

In this article, we explain why experienced facial plastic surgeons like Dr Marcells insist that patients give up smoking prior to a facelift, neck lift, or any procedure that requires the skin to be shifted.

Facelifts Help with Effects of Smoking

Patients who consult with Dr Marcells regarding solutions for visible signs of facial ageing are often smokers, some of them only in their 30’s.

“By the age of 70 years, smoking 30 cigarettes a day could lead to the equivalent of an extra 14 years of skin ageing.”DermNet NZ

Among the most common complaints are:

  • Sagging facial skin – There are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette tobacco, many of which inhibit the production of collagen and elastin. Without these two foundational elements of skin beauty, skin loses its tone and becomes droopy.
  • Lip lines – Smokers “pucker up” when they puff. This causes dynamic wrinkles, which deepen over time and no longer bounce back. Part of this is due to the reduced collagen and elastin mentioned above.
  • Age Spots – Cigarettes compromise your immune system and make it harder for the body to fight back against the damaging rays of the sun. The brownish blotches of age spots reflect this weakening of the immune system.

Dr Marcells and his aesthetic team can offer smokers a wide range of facial rejuvenation procedures, some of which are non-invasive. For smokers who are interested in surgery, however, Dr Marcells insists: Patients must stop smoking a minimum of four weeks prior to surgery.

5 Reasons to Stop Smoking Before Facial Surgery

The devastating effect that smoking has on the lungs and respiratory system has been well documented. It’s the effect of nicotine on blood vessels and circulation, however, which can affect facial plastic surgery outcomes.

“Twenty-five years ago, it may have been more acceptable for a patient to have undergone surgical procedures while smoking…Nowadays if a doctor knew a patient was smoking and they did flap surgery (an operation where shifting skin is required) many of us would say that’s malpractice.” – Dr Patrick McMenamin, past president, American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery

Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, impeding blood flow and reducing blood supply to the skin. In a facelift or neck lift, smokers are at increased risk for

  • Complications while under anaesthesia
  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Longer recovery period
  • Raised, red scars

Facelifts and Support for Smokers

Are you a smoker with questions about facelifts, neck lifts, and facial rejuvenation procedures? Let us explain your options! Please use our online enquiry form or call us on 1300 555 095 to learn how and when you can achieve your enhancement goals.

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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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