Why Smoking After Getting a Facelift Is a Bad Idea

Cigarettes have hundreds of toxic chemicals that can harm your health and affect your skin’s quality, making you look years older. If you smoke, your doctor will recommend quitting to prolong your life and lower your risk of developing illnesses like cancer and heart disease. Being a smoker can also disqualify you from getting your desired plastic surgery procedure. You will be required to quit smoking a minimum of 6-8 weeks prior to your surgical procedure.


Smoking after surgery can significantly impair your body’s ability to heal. Among other issues, nicotine causes vasoconstriction. Narrowing your blood vessels slows the circulation, depriving your tissues of oxygen and other nutrients. The resulting challenges can increase the risk of post-surgical complications like infections and necrosis. Smoking nicotine products also increases the level of carbon monoxide in your blood. Blood supply is a significant concern with any surgery, but especially a facelift, where the visual outcomes are a critical part of procedure. 


Dr. Josh Waltzman is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Long Beach, CA, who specializes in rejuvenating and refining facial and body surgery through plastic surgery. His impressive and refined surgical skills make him an excellent choice when pursing a cosmetic procedure– especially one that involves your facial characteristics and self-esteem. Preparing for a surgery like a facelift, not only requires finding an excellent plastic surgeon, like Dr. Waltzman, but it also requires understanding the dangers of bad habits like smoking, and how that will affect your results.

What Does a Facelift Involve?

Even the most diligent skin care routine and the priciest luxury products cannot stop the inevitable passage of time. While dermal fillers and Botox injections can help improve your skin’s integrity, smooth out lines and wrinkles, and contour areas that have lost volume, the results aren’t permanent and will require regularly scheduled maintenance treatments with Dr. Waltzman every few months. 

A facelift is a fully customizable surgical option with dramatic, long-lasting results Dr. Waltzman will use techniques to improve aspects of your appearance that you’re unhappy with. For example, a facelift can address loose and sagging skin by removing the excess skin and tissue, tightening the face and slimming areas that appear baggy due to aging. In addition, a facelift will also address wrinkles and fine lines from your cheeks to your jawline.

How Long Before Surgery Should You Quit Smoking?

Dr. Waltzman recommends that you stop smoking nicotine products at least six to eight  weeks before your facelift procedure. If you’ve been smoking for a long time, there is a higher risk of complications, which may require you to stop smoking even further from your surgery date. 


The requirement to stop smoking before cosmetic surgery has helped many former smokers find the motivation to quit long-term, adding years to their lives and prolonging their results.

Why You Should Stop Smoking Before and After Your Facelift

If you’re undergoing any surgical procedure, you should be aware of the risks smoking can cause.


Smoking Delays Healing

Smoking causes a decrease in essential blood nutrients like vitamin C, a necessary nutrient for wound healing and proper scar formation.

Increased Risk of Infection

Slower wound healing means a heightened vulnerability to infections. For example, smoking can lead to severe, medication-resistant bacterial infections. There is also a risk of blood clots and other circulatory diseases, including stroke.

Smokers Tend to Have Other Unhealthy Habits, Too

Recovering from a facelift procedure requires good circulation and healthy lifestyle choices. Smokers often lead primarily sedentary lifestyles and lung damage that makes it hard to catch their breath.

Compromised Results

Smoking is one of the leading causes of wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Nicotine strips your skin of essential nutrients, including collagen and elastin, two proteins that are necessary for keeping your skin youthful and healthy. By quitting smoking, you’ll prolong the results of your facelift surgery and slow down your skin’s natural aging process.

Quit Smoking and Schedule Your Long Beach Facelift

Live a long, healthy life and enjoy the results of your facelift today! To find out if you’re a good candidate for a facelift, schedule a consultation with Dr. Waltzman by calling (562) 448-6100 or fill out an online form with us today. We look forward to meeting you soon!