There are several considerations that determine who is the best candidate for labiaplasty or vaginoplasty. One of them is the woman’s health. Specifically, there are certain habits that thwart the healing process following surgery. One of those habits is smoking.
We already know that cigarette smokers have increased risk of getting heart disease, cancer and emphysema. We also know that it makes us appear older than we are by staining teeth, giving us bad breath and making our clothing and hair smell. It also causes wrinkles around the mouth. But there are other reasons, specifically for the potential plastic-surgery patient, to stop smoking.
Nicotine is known to close the blood vessels which bring oxygenated blood to the tissues. This is the oxygen that helps heal and which fights infection. It also keeps tissue alive and helps deliver medications such as antibiotics. What’s more, cigarette smoking clogs the person’s lungs, increasing the chance of getting pneumonia or other pulmonary infections. This is of great concern for the woman recovering from her surgery. Most doctors will give you medication following your labiaplasty or vaginoplasty, and if you continue smoking during your recovery, you’re actually fighting your body’s medicine-delivery process. At a time when your resistance is already compromised due to the stress of surgery, you’re just increasing the odds for infection when you smoke.
Another important consideration for the labiaplasty / vaginoplasty patient: Smoking actually decreases your skin’s elasticity. This happens because it constricts your blood flow and increases free radicals. While a qualified plastic surgeon can still work with your skin, smoking certainly makes it a bit more challenging. In fact, there are some plastic surgeons who refuse to perform elective surgery on a smoker. While this varies, the procedures that these plastic surgeons refuse to do are tummy tucks, face lifts and some reconstrucive procedures which utilize tissue flaps.
Of course, there’s the cost factor as well. No plastic surgery is cheap, so you need to cut back on some nonessentials anyway. Nothing is more nonessential than cigarette smoking.
My best advice for the woman who plans a labiaplasty, vaginoplasty, or most other cosmetic surgeries: Stop smoking now. Make sure that at least three weeks have passed between your last cigarette and your surgery.
Honestly, haven’t you been talking about quitting the habit anyway? Consider your upcoming labiaplasty and/ or vaginoplasty as the motivation you need to stop- permanently.