Smokers who do choose to have surgery must quit for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery and remain smoke-free until at least 2 weeks after surgery, for proper healing and recovery. Smokers have a higher rate of infection, skin separation, skin death, and anesthesia complications. One major study found that the risk of losing a significant area of skin (also called necrosis, or skin death) due to poor oxygen supply with a facelift is increased by 1500% in active smokers.
Good candidates for cosmetic surgery are close to their ideal weight (within 30%), non-smokers, emotionally stable, with low stress, exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is also wise to drink less than 5 ounces of alcohol a week and limit caffeine. It is important to have realistic expectations and not expect plastic surgery to change your life. A good candidate also accepts the disadvantages of plastic surgery (cost, inconvenience, discomfort, and medical risk). Recovery is much easier with a good support network. If you do not meet each criteria, it does not mean you won't be a good candidate for plastic surgery. If you meet none of them, it's more likely your doctor may want you to make some lifestyle changes before surgery.
It is important to let your doctor know your complete medical history including:
These products can interfere with blood clotting or interact with medications used during surgery and could increase your surgical risk.
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