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Category: Plastic Surgery Safety

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Is it Safe to Undergo Plastic Surgery Right Now?

| The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read: 

Our world has changed drastically over the last year. There are so many things we once took for granted that we now debate the safety of — such as elective surgery.

So, after all this time, is it finally safe to undergo plastic surgery? 

While plastic surgeons did have to shut their doors initially during the onset of the pandemic, they have been open and performing elective surgeries safely for months now. 

And with COVID-19 vaccinations underway and our country finally opening back up, it is becoming safer to undergo the procedures you have been waiting to get. 

Young girl in a medical mask isolated on a white background.

What COVID-19 Precautions Are Dr. Hung’s Office Taking? 

Dr. Hung and his team take COVID-19 very seriously. We understand the severity of the virus and work to make our office as safe as possible. 

Before walking in the doors, here’s what to expect: 

1. Masks 

We believe that face masks are an effective tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

Because face masks are still mandatory indoors in California, all staff and patients must wear face masks while in the office, unless the patient is in surgery. 

In our office, we require everyone to wear their masks properly for the safety of our staff and patients. 

2. Constant Sanitation 

As always, examination rooms and medical equipment will be sanitized after every use. Additionally, high-touch items and surfaces in common areas will be thoroughly sanitized periodically throughout the day. 

We also provide various hand sanitizing stations throughout the office, so our patients and staff can keep their hands clean and free of germs. 

3. Socially Distant “Waiting Rooms” 

To maintain social distancing, we ask all patients to safely park and wait in their vehicle. Once parked, give our office a call — Pasadena 626.432.5032 or Newport Beach 949.574.8292 — to let us know that you have arrived. 

We will give you a call when we are ready for you. 

4. Healthy Employees 

Everyone is given a health screening before entering the office. To ensure the safety of everyone in our practice, we ask that our employees and patients stay home if they are feeling sick. 

We understand your eagerness to have your surgery, but our office will be happy to reschedule. 

How Will COVID-19 Affect My Surgery and Recovery? 

You may assume that undergoing a plastic surgery procedure during a pandemic would be inconvenient. 

However, having your surgery now may make the process a little easier. For starters, the office will not be as crowded, and since you will be one of the few people in there, our team will have more time to focus on you. 

Additionally, many people are still staying at home more. Use this time to properly recover so that when you finally leave the house, you can show off your new surgical results. 

Interested in Learning More?

If you are interested in learning more about the safety of plastic surgery, please contact Dr. Hung’s office by calling his Pasadena office at 626-432-5032 or his Newport Beach office at 949-574-8292


Want Plastic Surgery? You May Want to Rethink Your Smoking Habit!

, , | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read: 

When planning for plastic surgery, one of the requirements almost every board-certified plastic surgeon will mandate is that patients refrain from using all nicotine products for three to six weeks before and after surgery. 

woman breaking a cigarette rather than smoking it.

There are very good reasons for this near-universal stricture. Nicotine and other chemicals found within cigarettes damage the lungs, yellow the teeth, and age skin, but these factors are unlikely to directly impact plastic surgery operations. What will affect these procedures is nicotine’s vasoconstriction effects. 

What Are the Effects of Nicotine on Your Body?

Nicotine causes veins and arteries to contract, restricting the amount of blood that can pass through them. This dramatically increases the risk of complications during surgeries, especially plastic surgeries that affect a broad area of surface tissue like facelift surgery (rhytidectomy) or tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty). When a plastic surgeon removes a section of tissue on the surface, it is kept alive through blood vessels in nearby tissue. If a patient has nicotine in their system, these blood vessels are too constricted to provide adequate blood flow. 

This means that patients who do not stop smoking are at a much higher risk of tissue necrosis during plastic surgery.  

What Is Tissue Necrosis?

Tissue necrosis is when tissues die while still attached to the body. This condition can be dangerous and, in some cases, lead to gangrene—a potentially lethal condition. The effects of nicotine and the risks of tissue necrosis do not go away during the recovery period. Even if patients who smoke make it through the surgery without complications, there is still a higher risk of tissue necrosis and excessive scarring during recovery. 

What Are Other Smoking Risks?

  • In addition to the vasoconstriction effects, smoking also decreases blood’s ability to carry oxygen by adding carbon monoxide to the bloodstream. This increases the risks mentioned above. 
  • Nicotine inhibits collagen production, causing the skin to age faster and heal slower. This can make recovery times longer and increase the risk of complications.
  • Smoking can increase the risk of certain skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. 
  • Smoking also causes wrinkles and other skin concerns that are difficult to reverse while toxic chemicals continue to do more damage. 

How Should I Prepare for Surgery?

If you plan to undergo a plastic surgery procedure, it is vital that you honestly discuss your smoking habits with your surgeon. You should have a frank discussion about your ability to refrain from smoking before and after your operation. 

It is critical that you do not lie to your surgeon about your nicotine consumption, as this may endanger you.

If you truly feel unable to quit smoking for at least 12 weeks, you should not undergo surgery. If, for any reason, you consume nicotine during that window (before or after your surgery), you should contact your surgeon right away. 

Want to Learn More? 

If you are interested in more information on the risks of smoking regarding your plastic surgery procedure, please contact Dr. Hung at his Pasadena office at 626-432-5032 or his Newport Beach office at 949-574-8292.