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Any way you look at it, smoking is bad. Period. We know that it is extremely detrimental to one’s general health and is associated with premature aging and death, a multitude of diseases and cancers and even reduced quality of life. Did you also know that it can even adversely affect the outcome of cosmetic surgery?

Since starting my plastic surgery practice in Scottsdale over 23 years ago, I have informed my smoking patients of the markedly elevated attendant risks of smoking with surgical procedures and their outcomes. By chemically causing a constriction (narrowing) of the blood vessels in one’s tissues, there can be a significant reduction in the blood supply translating to less oxygen and nutrients that reach the tissues which at times can be quite critical. In areas that have undergone surgery, that can clinically mean delayed or improper healing or even the lack of survival of some tissue resulting in the need for such corrective reconstructive procedures as skin grafting.

Though I strongly encourage all of my smoking patients to make a serious effort to stop permanently, I do request and many times demand that they at least stop smoking for a period of time prior to certain cosmetic procedures where the impact from smoking can be far more severe. The most common of these procedures that are at higher risk for substantial healing problems including skin necrosis (where the skin turns black and dies) include face lifts, tummy tucks, body lifts and to a slightly lesser extent, breast reductions, breast lifts and breast reconstruction.

Patients undergoing these procedures are instructed to avoid smoking for one month prior to surgery and continue this abstinence until two to four week following their surgery. Just a few cigarettes prior to or after surgery can still be quite harmful.

Over the years, I have found that the group of patients with the highest rate of healing problems and complications are active smokers. Even chronic smokers who were able to stop for this period of time did better than those who continued their noxious habit.

Is it worth the prolonged healing time, expenses, inconveniences and compromised aesthetic results just to continue smoking?

Definitely not!

If you have questions regarding any plastic surgery procedure that I perform or even the effects of smoking on the potential results or if you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with me, 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.