There is medical literature that recommends against smoking after any operation. It is believed that smoking leads to complications to your health during and after surgery. It’s often recommended to stop smoking before and following surgery, and the same goes for Rhinoplasty.

How does smoking affect the body?

Nicotine and carbon monoxide cause vasoconstriction in the body, which changes the size of blood vessels. Good blood flow is necessary for the regular performance of bodily functions, and smoking interferes with this. The amount you smoke will have an impact.

Postoperative healing

Your blood delivers nutrients and oxygen all over your body, and takes away the waste. Parts of the body that are in healing especially need the nourishment delivered by the circulatory system. The constricted blood vessels means slower healing, delaying the year-long period it takes for the nose to settle into place. As a result, Swelling and nosebleeds will last longer.

Surgery also increases the risk of infection. Your body should be as healthy as possible to promote a strong defense against infection. If smoking must continue, restrict yourself from doing it in the days leading up to and following the procedure. Stop smoking for a few months, if possible.

Cosmetic changes

Smoking will not change the structure of the bones and cartilage set by your surgeon, however it may promote scarring in your nose. Scarring can happen in a number of ways and it can change the shape of your nose, such as deviation of the tip. In extreme cases, you may experience skin loss due to the deprivation of nutrients from vasoconstriction. Generally speaking, it’s not certain how much smoking will change the appearance of your nose. The warning is more concerned with healing, preventing infection, and general good health.


Smoking has an effect on how anesthesia works on the body. Surgeons administer anesthetics at the start of the procedure. Speak to your doctor about possible complications arising from the habit.

Quit smoking

Depending on your general health, your surgeon may recommend a specific time frame to refrain from smoking. Guidelines may range from 8 weeks prior to 8 weeks post rhinoplasty. Be aware that nicotine intake also includes patches, gum, and second hand smoke.

Rhinoplasty requires a skilled practitioner to perform. Your nose is composed of an intricate structure from bone, tissue, and skin, all unique to each individual. Take steps to ensure optimal results and maintain physical well-being.

Dr. Solomon Otolaryngologist, is a head and neck surgeon practicing facial plastic surgery in Toronto.

Feb 12th 2014