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Old 12-02-2008, 02:03 PM
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I chew tobacco and I am not going to chew the day of or after the surgery. If I start back up a couple days after surgery could it harm the newly implanted grafts?
Thanks!!
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:00 PM
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I believe it could. If you keep chewing, even after the surgery, there may be complications from the toxins generated by nicotine.

Obviously, smokers still get hair transplant surgery. Great results are possible. But I don't think anybody is going to say that chewing is going to contribute positively to your results. If anything, the impact will be negative. If I were you, I would stop for as long as possible. I know - easier said than done, right? Still, you should give your hair the best possible shot.

Please discuss this with your surgeon. And good luck to you.
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:45 AM
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I have posted several times on the increased risk of infection related directly to the use of tobacco perioperatively. Whether or not tobacco alters circulation to the hairs themselves has not been shown, but I would bet it does.

Lay off the tobacco for 10 days preop and the week of your surgery.

Dr. Lindsey McLean VA
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:39 AM
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Didn't realise people still chewed tobacco - thought it was only in the old cowboy movies
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:50 PM
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That is the european stereo type of Hollywood movies!!

Cheers
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:58 AM
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Spex,

Here in the US we chew tobacco and dip snuff. As anti-tobacco as I am, I have to admit that I dipped snuff in 9th grade English class during Shakespear films in an attempt to hang with the cool guys.

No wonder I got a D in English...luckily there was math and science to get me into college.

Dr. Lindsey McLean VA
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:27 AM
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Mrkneed

Do yourself a favor and stop chewing tobacco for a couple weeks prior to and a couple weeks after the procedure (actually completely breaking the habit would be your best option). The amount of nicotine that is absorbed by the body from smokeless tobacco is similar in magnitude to that of cigarette smoking. You are at an increased risk of infection and bleeding (there is a transient rise in blood pressure secondary to then excessive absorption of sodium (salt) in the body which adds an unnecessary level of difficultly during the procedure), and a multitude of other health effects. Now, the amount of blood loss from a hair transplant is not much if done properly, but any excess in bleeding at the level of the recipient sites makes the surgery more difficult ?? this can lead to graft popping and crush injury to the grafts. I know this is easier said then done, but give it some consideration.

What this translates to for the procedure is this: when the surgeon is making slits in the scalp, especially for high-density graft placement, the newly planted grafts rely upon the body to immediately bring oxygen rich blood to ???feed??? the hair follicles and remove the waste products. Smoke and smokeless tobacco impair that process in many ways (blood flow and at the biochemical level) so the overall risk of damage to the newly planted grafts and the donor area is higher. If I have a patient who uses tobacco products, and will not stop their usage during the perioperative period, I make them well aware of the fact that they are at an increased risk of complications of possible poor growth of the grafts and scarring at the donor area.

I hope this additional information was useful for you.

Steve Gabel, M.D.
Portland, Oregon
Gabel Hair Restoration Center
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:01 AM
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Dr. Gabel thank you for your response! I used smokeless tobacco the night before surgery and that was the last time I have done it - I have quit for good. I hope I did not put my new grafts in jepordy by using it the night before?!
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:02 PM
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The bottom line is that you stopped using the tobacco products which is fantastic. I'm glad to hear that you did not use the products on the day of surgery or afterwards. I have had patients who, during lunch, went out for a smoke and I just shake my head. Anyway, I look forward to seeing your results. Keep us posted.
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:03 PM
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Thanks Doc!!
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