How e-cigarettes ruin plastic surgery: Vaping chemicals ‘prevent skin from healing after nip-and-tuck’

e cigarette

  • Patients are already advised not to smoke cigarettes for a month before a cosmetic procedure
  • The nicotine restricts blood flow, making it harder for skin wounds to heal
  • Now plastic surgeons are warning e-cigarettes carry the same risk
  • They have published a warning in the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons


E-cigarettes drastically increase the risk of complications after plastic surgery, a new report warns.

Patients are already advised to stop smoking normal cigarettes for at least a month before any cosmetic procedure.

Beyond the thousands of added chemicals, the nicotine that users inhale restricts blood flow and prohibits the skin flaps from healing.

Now, in an industry first, researchers backed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) have issued an identical warning against vaporized nicotine.

Nicotine is known to restrict blood flow and raise risk of post-surgery complications for cigarette smokers. Now plastic surgery researchers warn e-cigarettes carry the same risk

‘Based on our current best knowledge, it seems reasonable to advise plastic surgery candidates to cease e-cigarette use in a manner similar to what is advised for [cigarettes],’ write ASPS member surgeons Dr Peter Taub and Dr Alan Matarasso.

They explain that patients who smoke cigarettes tend to have failure of the skin flaps used for many types of plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures.

Wounds require a healthy blood flow to heal. 

However, nicotine has been shown to shrink the capillaries, resulting in reductions in blood flow (or, vasoconstriction).

It means a nip-and-tuck could go disastrously wrong, since the skin struggles to reattach.