Smoking is a dangerous habit. It causes cancer and disrupts your body’s natural healing process. If you are a smoker and are planning on having FTM top surgery, your surgeon will ask that you quit prior to your procedure. You will also need to remain a non-smoker during your recovery.
Why you need to quit smoking before surgery
During your FTM procedure, your surgeon will need to make incisions in order to excise the breast tissue to create a masculine-looking chest. The incision sites will turn into wounds before they heal completely. When you smoke, you are exposing yourself to higher chances of surgery-related complications like stroke, heart attack, shock and even death. Smoking limits blood flow and weakens the immune system, which makes your body have to fight harder to prevent infection and heal the wounds properly. Plus, after FTM surgery, smokers are more likely to scar since the body’s natural healing process will be hindered.
When should you quit smoking before FTM surgery?
Within a day or two after smoking cessation, your body will begin to restore itself. More oxygen will travel to the cells and blood will flow properly. After 3-6 weeks after quitting smoking, the body’s bacterial infection defences improve. Your surgeon will probably recommend that you quit at least 3-6 weeks prior to your procedure to ensure that your body will respond well to the surgery. After your surgery you will need to refrain from nicotine products for another six weeks. However, at this point you may not want to smoke anymore, which is, of course, the optimal outcome.
There is no one-size-fits-all quitting strategy for smoking. Some people are able to quit cold turkey, while others requires aids like nicotine patches and gum. Your surgeon and primary physician can recommend different techniques for you to try. The important thing to remember is that quitting smoking is hard and you will need support from those around you. It may be best to avoid certain people and situations that make you want to smoke until you have fully quit.
The bottom line is this: smoking is bad for you and quitting, whether you are having FTM surgery or not, is a good idea. Not only will you prolong your life and stave off smoking-related diseases, you will experience better breathing and healing.