Smoking Can Make Nipples Fall Off, Warns Plastic Surgeon

Plastic Surgeon's Warning: Smoking Can Make Your Nipples Fall Off

Women with breast implants who smoke, beware.

A top plastic surgeon's warns on CNN's health blog The Chart that not kicking that nicotine habit before and after surgery could lead to your nipples falling off.

Dr. Anthony Youn elaborates on that very scenario as told in his new memoir, In Stiches. To salvage a patient's nipples, leeches were applied to suck out old blood.

Purple is the precursor to black. Black is the precursor to falling off. To save the patient - and her nipples - we turned to the only treatment available. We went medieval. We used leeches.

So how exactly does this happen? The Daily Mail explains that the nicotine and carbon monoxide inhaled from a cigarette can constrict the blood flow to various parts of the body. This disrupts the patient's healing process of a body part by stopping blood from reaching it.

Youn, who hails from Detroit, Michigan, explains this only applies to patients who went under the knife to perk up their breasts, not just any smoker.

Nevertheless, whether or not smokers are opting for a breast lift or not, the lethal effects of smoking are well documented. The CDC writes on its website:

More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women. An estimated 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking.