Preparing for plastic surgery can involve a lot of anxiety, which is worsened by the fear that something will not go as planned. What’s even more daunting? The sitting and waiting game that comes after the surgery.

Most people, especially cannabis lovers, will feel the temptation to turn to their favourite source of relief to treat their nerves and anxiety. However, not many know whether it is safe to smoke before the surgery and whether there are contraindications against smoking after the surgery. Here is what you need to know about the use of cannabis, especially when recovering from plastic surgery.

Why Is Smoking So Appealing After Surgery?

There is a number of reasons why people feel tempted to smoke after surgery. The chemicals contained in cannabis have been proven to bring about positive results such as pain reduction, which is why medical marijuana is prescribed for people suffering from a number of conditions. However, before you light that joint, you need to know how much it can potentially derail your recovery process.

Risks of Smoking Cannabis After Surgery

It is a known fact that cannabis use leads to the slowing down of the heart rate and reduced blood pressure. When recovering from surgery, the doctor will mostly prescribe medication to deal with the pain, which can have sedative side effects. Combining this prescription medication with cannabis can lead to severe side effects and, at times, even death. It, therefore, would not be wise to add a substance that could make you feel depressed later on.

When you are smoking cannabis, your blood’s capacity to carry oxygen is normally reduced. This leads to a reduced ability of the cells to respond to stress and, as a result, your healing response will be affected. This means that if you make it a habit to smoke three times a day, you could lengthen your recovery period or create other complications. It is important to note that smoking causes tissue death from lack of oxygen, which leads to scarring, and could lead to the need for another surgery to correct the problem.

The Dangers of Coughing

There is nothing that is scarier than coughing for a person recovering from surgery. When you are smoking weed, there is an increased chance that you will cough up the smoke. This can lead to serious problems such as internal bleeding or the tearing of the stitches. Coughing can also lead to the development of hematomas, which can be life-threatening if the brain is affected. The potential risk is too much compared to the reward.

Talk to Your Doctor

Of course, not everyone is comfortable enough to tell their surgeon that they have been smoking weed either before their surgery or during their recovery period. Information about smoking is vital before surgery because you have no idea how anaesthesia will react with the chemicals present in cannabis when both hit your bloodstream. Also, when you are honest with your surgeon, they will also be honest enough to tell you whether you can use it, what constitutes a safe amount, or if they can recommend suitable alternatives to the drug.

The Best Ways To Use Cannabis Post-Surgery

The fact that you cannot smoke cannabis after surgery doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to consume it. After checking with your doctor, you can ingest it as an edible. There are many edibles specifically designed to relieve pain and you can talk to the staff of your local dispensary to find the one that is appropriate for your recovery. If you’re looking for the sensation of smoking try using a vaporizer instead, as this method is less of an irritant than other inhaled forms. This method is not recommended for those who have had tummy tucks or other stomach surgeries.

When to Resume Regular Cannabis Use After Surgery

If you’ve spoken to your surgeon and been advised to refrain from using cannabis after surgery, find out how long you need to wait before you can resume its use. Generally, three weeks is the acceptable minimum wait time. If you can stand it, it’s best to wait until you are fully recovered before resuming the practice because a botched surgical recovery is an unpleasant experience. Most importantly, and contrary to what most people will tell you, marijuana does not contain antibiotic properties and will not protect you from possible infections after your surgery.

Be upfront with your surgeon and ask for their suggestions and you will avoid any trouble that may otherwise arise.


Kindly written by Laura Chow, staff writer at Zwivel.

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