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Cosmetic surgery may even help patients quit smoking

cosmetic surgery benefitsThere are many benefits – as well as cons – to consider when deciding whether to embark on cosmetic surgery and now it seems that quitting the habit could also be one.

Prior to undergoing a major cosmetic surgery procedure, such as a tummy tuck, facelift, breast reduction or breast uplift, I insist on patients stopping smoking for at least eight weeks before the procedure and during the healing period afterwards. Now, a new study published in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, has followed up on cosmetic surgery patients and found that many actually quit smoking in the years after their op.

The lead author of the study, Dr Aaron C. Van Slyke of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver commented, “Our results show an association between cosmetic surgery and smoking cessation at long-term follow-up.” The study interviewed patients who had been smokers prior to their plastic surgery procedure performed five years’ previously. About 40% of patients no longer smoked cigarettes on a daily basis and nearly one-fourth had not smoked at all since their operation.

Dr Van Slyke also pointed to the important role that the cosmetic surgery can play: “Surgeons who request pre-operative smoking cessation may influence patients’ long-term smoking status.” Seventy percent of patients interviewed in the study agreed that discussing the increased surgical risks associated with smoking influenced their desire to quit or reduce smoking.

Other benefits of cosmetic surgery

Increase in confidence: when a physical feature that may have bothered you for many years is altered or enhanced, it can greatly boost self-esteem. For most patients at my Leamington Spa cosmetic surgery clinic, it has been an issue for many years and surgery is a carefully considered option. However, if it is a sudden or recent dislike, then my advice might be to delay surgery at this time.

Improved physical health: although cosmetic surgery is purely elective and not required for medical reasons, there can also be a great improvement in health. Women with overly large breasts, for example, can experience excruciating back and neck pain and this can be greatly reduced or abolished by breast reduction surgery.

Positive lifestyle changes: this research into smoking cessation and cosmetic surgery is one of many recent studies into the potential benefits of cosmetic surgery. In 2013, one study looked at patients undergoing a tummy tuck and found that there was significant and lasting weight loss particularly for those patients that were overweight prior to surgery.

There are many potential pros to cosmetic surgery, but there are also risks to consider as well. During consultations at my Warwickshire cosmetic surgery practice, I always ensure that patients are fully aware of all the possible implications before they make this important decision.