Women who have breast implants have been given fair warning that their nipples could detach if they don’t quit smoking. Detroit-based cosmetic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn recently appeared on ABC News to explain he has seen a woman lose her nipples during a breast-lift operation. He says that the operation does interfere with blood flow to the vessels around the nipple, so any nicotine or carbon monoxide in the blood can weaken the vein walls. This can increase the risk of nipple detachment.
Women who continue to smoke after surgery are depriving their body of adequate blood flow. When the blood is not circulating properly around the nipples and throughout the breast tissue, the tissue can become weaker. Dr. Youn advises that women should stop smoking completely for about a month before and after a breast reduction or breast lift operation to avoid any serious consequences like nipple detachment.
He also points out that secondhand smoke can be harmful to women who are considering surgery, as the smoke can increase healing and recovery times.
Plastic surgeons do ask patients if they are smokers during their consultation, and in some cases, having a smoking habit can mean that the patient isn’t a good candidate for surgery. Patients undergoing any type of plastic surgery need to be in relatively good health and without a history of blood clotting problems or vascular disease. Any problems associated with poor blood circulation must be addressed before the patient goes under the knife.