Most surgeons recommend withholding from smoking cigarettes for about four weeks prior to surgical procedures because of nicotine’s impact on skin and soft tissue. Now, recent research also suggests a similar recommendation for e-cigarette users.
The recommendation is based on a study of patients undergoing general surgical procedures. The study’s results concluded that stopping smoking 3-4 weeks before surgery decreased complications post-operation from 41% to 21%. Similar benefits were not observed when studying patients stopping smoking 1-3 weeks before surgery.
Most research suggests that e-cigarettes may be safer than traditional cigarettes because they are tar-less. However, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, which has been connected with many post-surgical complications (including skin flap failures). Additionally, e-cig cartridges contain other potentially harmful additives.
If you’re an e-cigarette user, make sure to discuss smoking with your doctor prior to your procedure.