Taking care of yourself takes top priority after plastic surgery, and you are naturally eager to do everything you can to promote faster healing once you return home. As cannabis' ability to relieve pain gains more recognition, even people who have never smoked before are considering it as an option for handling the discomfort that comes with post-op recovery. As you prep for your upcoming plastic surgery, you can use this guide to understand how using cannabis could affect your healing time and comfort. So, can you smoke cannabis after surgery?
Benefits of Cannabis After Plastic Surgery
Cannabis has properties that help to reduce pain and inflammation, which is why many people prefer it to opioids, which often lead to serious addictions. You may also prefer cannabis to prescription pain medications if you're looking to avoid side effects like fatigue and nausea.
If you currently smoke, then you may also be eager to just get back to your normal lifestyle by enjoying your favorite way to relax and relieve stress. Since relaxation lowers the release of inflammatory hormones in your body such as cortisol, using cannabis to relax could also help you enjoy faster healing times.
Risks Associated With Smoking Cannabis After Surgery
Every good thing has its downsides. Smoking anything can delay healing due to decreased oxygen in your bloodstream and slower circulation to the surgical site. The coughing that often occurs along with smoking cannabis can also create strain on areas of your body that need to heal.
For instance, coughing tenses up your chest and abdominal muscles, which could cause complications if you recently had a breast augmentation or tummy tuck. The actions involved with coughing and smoking also require you to use the fine muscles and ligaments in your face that may need to be kept as still as possible following facial surgeries.
Due to the negative impact that smoking has on the healing process, most physicians recommend quitting the practice for at least two weeks prior to your surgery.
When Can I Safely Smoke Cannabis Again?
Going several weeks without smoking cannabis may sound like an impossible feat when you are a frequent smoker. However, you should always follow your physician's advice regarding quitting and start up times. Ideally, you should avoid smoking until you have fully healed, but you may receive the green light from your physician to use cannabis sooner if going without causes you too much distress and you are doing well physically. You may also be able to explore other options for cannabis consumption that allow you to achieve the same benefits for your recovery without having to deal with the risks caused by smoking.
Other Types of Cannabis Delivery Methods
There are tons of ways to use cannabis without ever having to take in a puff of smoke. Although vaping requires you to inhale vapor, your body may find it less irritating than regular smoke.
If you want to use cannabis for pain relief, then edibles and tinctures can help you avoid the dreaded coughing fits associated with smoking. Since these delivery systems tend to have longer lasting effects, edibles and tinctures are often the go-to choice for people who want to reduce pain overnight or alleviate anxiety following their surgery.
These delivery methods also give you more control over how you feel since you can take small doses until you find your sweet spot for pain relief.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Cannabis After Surgery?
Cannabis tends to have very few negative side effects when it is used appropriately. However, it can occasionally interact with other medications and cause undesirable symptoms. For instance, cannabis can affect how the anesthesia works during your surgery, which is why you should abstain from using it the day before and of your operation.
Be cautious about consuming cannabis after surgery along with medications that generate similar reactions, since it could increase the effects and cause symptoms like extreme drowsiness. When in doubt about the safety of using cannabis, consult with a physician or pharmacist who knows how it interacts with the body and other medications.
Responsible cannabis consumption has many potential benefits for your physical and mental health. While you may need to adjust your habits during your post-op recovery, understanding how to use cannabis safely allows you to heal faster from your plastic surgery.
Contributed by Laura Chow, a staff writer for Zwivel, an online resource dedicated to health, cosmetic treatments, and plastic surgery.