March 8th, 2013
Smoking and drinking will not make a straight nose go crooked or have any other direct effect on the results of a rhinoplasty procedure. However, smoking and drinking can both interfere with healing, and therefore may indirectly affect the results.
The primary reason smoking affects healing is that cigarettes contain nicotine, which causes vasoconstriction, in turn “choking off” the flow of blood to vessels in the nasal skin. In the postoperative period, the nose relies on these vessels for healing. Vasoconstriction can also lead to infection. Moreover, smoking can lead to prolonged postoperative swelling — not to mention cancer. If you’re currently a smoker, it’s a good idea to quit anyway; but if you want to have rhinoplasty, it’s an absolute must.
Alcohol consumption can interfere with healing due to vasodilation. It can also lead to fluid retention and therefore excess swelling. Many facial plastic surgeons advise their patients to avoid alcohol for a week and reduce alcohol intake for about a month. Also, it is very important to avoid bumping your nose for six to eight weeks — so be careful with the cocktails.
Depending on your unique medical history and circumstances, there may be additional reasons for you to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol after your rhinoplasty. Speak with your surgeon to learn more.