The importance of disclosing your medical history and recreational habits
To be honest, honesty is typically the best policy no matter what you are facing. However, if you’ve decided to have some cosmetic surgery honesty is actually life-saving. And dishonesty can be very risky.
I’m not suggesting that people are intentionally dishonest. We all forget things. Prior to surgery and usually in the consultation stage patients are asked about their medical history and recreational habits for good reason. Plastic surgery involves anesthesia, physical stress on the body, significant recovery time and post-op meds.
Medical history is a little easier for people to remember. And, of course people tend to remember all the good things they engage in like the daily morning walk and the vitamins they take. Yet they forget to mention that weekly or monthly cigarette they smoke during happy hour at the end of the week. Someone who smokes one cigarette occasionally would not necessarily consider themselves a smoker. And, if you don’t smoke but spend time around smokers inhaling second-hand smoke you would probably forget to include that detail.
Truth is, nicotine has serious effects on blood pressure. Someone who smokes even once in a while may respond poorly to anesthesia, experience significant delays in the recovery process and could have scarring. Nicotine acts as a sort of tourniquet in your body, inhibiting blood supply to the skin and deep tissues, and sometimes causes tiny veins to fail. A heavy smoker in surgery may lose blood supply to the extremities, killing the skin cells and causing them to turn black. This can happen almost anywhere on a smoker’s body during surgery, including the nipples, cheeks and chin. Most reputable surgeons will not perform procedures on heavy smokers.
How about the ibuprofen you take every now and then? Vitamins and supplements must also be disclosed and taken into consideration prior to surgical procedures.
Before you go for your surgical consultation, try to think of every recreational indulgence, like alcohol and drug consumption, smoking herbs and nicotine and every kind of vitamin, mineral or energy drink that has large amounts of caffeine or nicotine.
You are considering plastic surgery to improve your looks and your confidence. So disclose all. In this situation, honesty can save your life.