Cigarettes and alcohol consumption are prevalent habits among adults across all ethnicities. They are a source of social interactions and cultural expectations. They are also one of the leading causes of health problems and can have serious impacts on any type of surgery. Plastic surgeons will always suggest that, if you are a smoker, you quit smoking or at the very least cut down on your nicotine intake, and that you avoid alcohol in the two weeks before and after your surgery. Have you ever wondered why these two substances should be avoided?
Asian Americans have one of the lowest smoking rates of any ethnic group. According to the Center for Disease Control, about one in every six Asian men and one in every 18 Asian women smoke cigarettes. However, some Asian countries have much higher smoking rates. In China, for example, more men are smokers than the entire population of the United States! For many Asians and Asian Americans, smoking can be as much a cultural thing as a social thing.
Nicotine is the primary chemical in cigarettes that can make them so addicting. It’s also one of the chemicals that can cause serious issues with your surgery. Nicotine primarily interferes with blood flow, something that is extremely important in surgery. During your Asian rhinoplasty, your blood is still moving to all your tissues and has to continue moving after surgery to keep the healing on track. Nicotine causes your blood vessels to constrict, which limits the amount of blood flow and can even cause clots to form in smaller vessels and capillaries.
All of this reduces the amount of blood that can reach the soft tissue, which will increase the healing time. In a worst case scenario, the lack of blood could cause the soft tissue to become necrotic and die because it’s not getting the right amount of nutrients through the blood.
Alcohol consumption is also low among Asians and Asian Americans, though the rate has increased as the group’s population grows. Alcohol is viewed as a “social lubricant” across all ethnicities and is a common sight among adults in social settings.
Alcohol actually does the exact opposite of nicotine; whereas nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor by making your blood vessels smaller, alcohol works as a vasodilator and makes your blood vessels bigger. With all the previous discussion about how bad that can be for surgery, wouldn’t having larger blood vessels be beneficial?
In fact, opening the flood gates in your blood vessels can also have negative effects on your surgery. For one thing, it keeps blood away from your major organs, such as your heart. Increased blood flow also means increased bleeding and increased swelling, which can cause you to heavily bruise and swell. This will causea longer and more difficult recovery period, especially because alcohol can make you more susceptible to pain. You will already have these post-surgery conditions to deal with during your recovery – there’s no need to make it worse!
Most prescription medications, including the pain management ones your doctor will probably prescribe after surgery, have a strict “Do Not Mix With Alcohol” warning statement. Alcohol can dull the effects of the medications and can even interact chemically to create further problems.
Alcohol also contributes to dehydration. Fluid intake is going to be important in your recovery to keep blood and nutrients flowing to your operated soft tissues. You also don’t want your skin to look dried out, especially after you have spent the time and money to improve your appearance.
Your Asian Rhinoplasty Consultation
If you are interested in having an Asian rhinoplasty, contact our office in Beverly Hills, CA at (310) 275-2467 to schedule an initial consultation with our rhinoplasty expert. Dr. Paul Nassif is known across the world and across ethnicities for his exceptional skill in all forms of rhinoplasty. His reputation for natural looking results and high rates of patient satisfaction make him the best choice for your Asian rhinoplasty surgery. Contact us today by phone, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or online through our Patient Contact Information Page.