Uncommonly Discussed Smoking Effects: Skin Necrosis

Cigarette smoking is a habit that can get you into trouble with strokes and heart attacks. A common thread here is that smoking reduces blood flow to your organs. It is kinda like strangling your tissues from the inside out. Think of blood as the flow of life in any organ. Without regular blood flow, most tissues die. This includes your heart, brain and skin.

Did you know that some people see problems with wound healing though, even with plastic surgery? The skin is your largest organ and is also susceptible to the blood flow killing effects of cigarette smoking. So say you smoke cigarettes for ten years and then quit. Did you know that the tummy tuck you have ten years later might not heal so well and that tendency would be worse from those cigarettes you smoked a decade earlier?

Take a look at such a patient after her tummy tuck:

Skin necrosis wound after tummy tuck

Not so pretty? This woman’s tummy tuck wound opened up like a pit in the ground a month after her surgery and took 3 months to close. Her tummy eventually healed but did not look as nice as most of my other tummy tuck patient’s tummies.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD


Dr D’s “Tummy Tuck FAQs”

Originally posted 2013-02-07 07:30:28.