I am a heavy smoker and want to look into a facelift procedure in order to enhance the appearance of my skin. In preparation for the surgery, can I use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or do I have to stop smoking cold turkey?
Nicotine is the substance found in cigarettes and in the nicotine replacement patches and gum. Nicotine is detrimental to healing after surgery because it constricts, or closes, the small blood vessels. This in turn, prevents blood from getting to the healing tissues. The outcome is death if the skin in operated area. Therefore, if you are a heavy smoker, you must stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery and refrain from using any nicotine replacement therapy.
Posted by Dr. Bustillo