Nicotine and tobacco addiction is a major problem for any patient looking to have elective cosmetic surgery. As I tell all my patients, the risks of healing complications are significantly higher in smokers, particularly for operations that require lifting up of large amounts of skin (such as facelift, breast lift, tummy tuck, etc.). Patients often time seek help to quit smoking before surgery, turning to such treatments as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette), behavior modification therapies, and medications such as Chantix or Zyban.
Treatments that have been frequently used as well are nicotine replacement therapies, including nicotine patches and gums. In a study published yesterday, researchers from Harvard found that two-thirds of patients who quit smoking resumed smoking within four years, even when used in conjunction with behavioral modification. The study looked at nearly 800 patients and found the same relapse rate in people who used no smoking-cessation aids.
While the results of the study are certainly discouraging for patients looking to quit smoking permanently, the do not contradict the very real short term effects these products can have. Patients may be better off utilizing other forms of therapy, particularly medications such as Chantix and Zyban.
To learn more about plastic surgery at Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute, contact Dr. Jejurikar’s office at 214-827-2814. To learn more about this study, click this link.