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Older male smoker

Smoking has no redeeming qualities in general and absolutely none when it comes to our appearance AND plastic surgery. It is common knowledge that it is associated with countless medical maladies some of which include a variety of cancers, heart disease, heart attacks, and peripheral vascular disease.

For those smokers undergoing certain plastic surgery procedures, their risk for skin loss (death or necrosis), delayed healing or infection due to impairment/reduction of blood flow can be significant. Particularly high risk procedures include facelifts, abdominoplasties (tummy tucks), breast lifts and breast reductions.

Smoking also causes easily identifiable, tell-tale signs on the face of long term smokers including deep and numerous wrinkles and creases around the mouth and of the face, facial skin textural changes, premature aging and a coarseness of the voice. A very interesting study recently published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® journal accurately delineates and assesses the untoward manifestations of smoking including the time factor by comparings differences in appearance between 79 pairs of identical twins who had different smoking histories. For each pair of twins, either one smoked and the other didn’t or one smoked at least five years longer than the other. However, they were all had similar histories regarding factors that can affect facial aging including usage of sunscreen, alcohol consumption and work related stress.

All the study subjects completed an explicit questionnaire of their medical histories and lifestyles. A standardized series of photos were taken of each twin which were then analyzed by plastic surgeons who were not provided with any related medical or smoking history.

The findings were quite enlightening but not shocking. Most of the manifestations from smoking were seen in the lower two thirds of the face with much fewer effects on the forehead. There was greater drooping of the upper eyelids, more bags of the lower lids and under the eyes, deeper creases around the corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds), and more wrinkles of the upper and lower lip and sagging of the jowls.

It was also discovered that a difference in smoking history of as short as 5 years did result in clearly identifiable aging changes in the face. This, by itself, should provide even more motivation for people to stop smoking ASAP.

So, if you are a smoker and want to look your best for as long as possible:

STOP SMOKING NOW!!

If you would like information on any plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule your consultation, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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A Message Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19

In light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to let you know of some of the major precautions we are taking in our office to maximize cleanliness and keep the environment as sanitary and safe as possible. Our highest priority is always to ensure the safety of every individual who sees us and we are taking extreme infection-control measures to maintain cleanliness and “sterility” of surfaces and the overall environment.

We will be limiting dates and times for office appointments and consultations due to safety and other issues. Consequently, if you have already made an office appointment or consultation prior to March 18, 2020 to occur at a later time, this may need to be changed.

For anyone considering plastic surgery, we are now offering Virtual Consultations and Telemedicine through Skype. A great number of aesthetic or insurance-related issues can be evaluated via pictures and online video conferencing, making this an excellent way to find out more about particular procedures, determine candidacy for treatment, receive answers to questions and facilitate being able to move forward with care once the government lifts all restrictions.

In an abundance of caution, we are asking all current patients who are experiencing a fever, cough, chills, fatigue or any type of respiratory illness to please delay any upcoming appointments at our practice. We can talk with you by phone or email to establish a new date and time for the appointment.

We are all in this together. Our team urges everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by local health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include frequent handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, social distancing, staying home if you are feeling sick, and contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you are experiencing symptoms.

For more information, please read our blog – Coronavirus and You: Important Information

For further updates, please check our blog.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us by phone or email.