Smoking Marijuana Before Surgery

Cosmetic Question:  I know I cannot smoke tobacco before surgery but is smoking marijuana okay?

Cosmetic Answer:

The answer is NO! You cannot safely smoke marijuana before elective cosmetic surgery.

This is an important question because marijuana has been illegal for so long that until recently, we knew little about its effects on our health. Medical research into it was not funded.

Now we have medical research that suggests smoking marijuana may be as bad as or even worse than tobacco for our health. Here are a few findings:

  • Marijuana has been shown to cause sudden, fatal heart attacks in the young, otherwise healthy people. So it may pose a much greater risk to the circulation than tobacco.
  • Another study shows that, like tobacco, smoking marijuana lowers ENO– this means that it lowers the airflow in the lungs, reducing oxygen in our bodies.
  • Another study shows that marijuana has auto-immune effects. These are not yet understood but it suggests it may damage our ability to fight infection.

No one should be surprised by these findings. We have always known that breathing smoke is very, very harmful to the human body. Why would marijuana smoke be safe, when all other kinds of smoke are so dangerous? Common sense tells us smoke, whatever the source, is bad for us.

When you have cosmetic surgery, you want the best possible result. It is horrible to see your skin struggle to heal and then turn black or to develop an infection that ruins your result. This is much more likely if your body is starved of oxygen and we know that is what smoking does to us.

NO SMOKING before surgery.

How long before?  A month is the standard rule.

If you cannot do this, please let me know. Do not keep it a secret. Sometimes smokers can stop if given medicines that temporarily remove the desire to smoke or together we may modify the surgical plan. Or take special precautions at surgery. Above all, we want to help you get your best possible result.