It is widely known that patients who smoke cigarettes are at an increased risk of complications during plastic surgery recovery. However, do e-cigarettes users face the same risks? This topic is discussed in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


Over the past couple of years, the use of e-cigarettes, or “vaping” has grown in popularity, due to the belief that they are safer than traditional cigarettes. Although the long-term effects of vaping are unclear, there is no evidence that it is causes cancer or heart disease like traditional cigarettes. However, there are still concerns as to other harmful effects.

Many surgeons are concerned that there will be an increased risk of complications after surgery when a patient uses e-cigarettes. This is because many vapors used in e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can inhibit the healing process. Patients who smoke regular cigarettes are more prone to many complications, including death of skin flaps, due to reduced blood flow. This is why smokers are advised to quit smoking six weeks before any type of plastic surgery procedure.

Following Pre-Op Instructions

Most surgeons follow the same guidelines with e-cigarettes as they do traditional cigarettes. E-cigarette users are asked to stop smoking four to six weeks before a procedure. This is to ensure patient safety, as well as optimal surgical outcomes.

Overall, more research needs to be conducted on the effects of e-cigarettes on the body and how they affect healing after plastic surgery.

If you located in the Portland area and have questions about how smoking affects plastic surgery, contact Dr. Bohley today to schedule a consultation.