Expert Commentary: Stacie D. McClane, M.D., F.A.C.S. - May 12, 2009

Posted by Admin on May 12, 2009

Congratulations to the patients in the study that were able to stop smoking and remain tobacco-free.  This is not an easy goal to reach and maintain.  Smoking cessation is a fantastic way to improve one’s overall lifestyle.  Aside from improved post surgical healing and related health benefits, I am sure that those individuals are feeling better and more energetic.

In my facial plastic and reconstructive surgery practice, it is imperative that my patients refrain from smoking in the peri-operative period.  I feel so strongly about the negative effect that smoking has on wound healing that my patients are counseled regarding smoking cessation and sign a smoking cessation agreement.  Smokers may be at an increased risk for some complications more than 12 times that of the nonsmoking population. 

When there is a potentially preventable and identifiable link to a complication, it only makes sense to eliminate it.  Patients come into my practice seeking excellent results in facelifts, rejuvenation procedures and other cosmetic treatments.  I am absolutely not willing to compromise their outcome with less than desirable healing results. 

I have found that most smokers that I know (patients, friends and family members) have a true desire to stop.  Furthermore, they recognize the undesirable health risks and the concern of their loved ones.  Often times, they do not readily have options for immediate and long-term cessation therapy.  The emotional support and interventional replacement therapies offered in this study likely played in important role in its success. 

Also, there are a variety of medications available that might provide further assistance.  I hope that the promising news from this study encourages other smokers to begin living a healthier smoke free life.  You can do it!

Stacie D. McClane, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
Chicago Plastic Surgery, LLC
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