One day a few years ago, Frederic Deleyiannis, MD, was walking through the pre-operative area at Children’s Hospital Colorado when he encountered an unusual sight. A patient awaiting check-in for surgery was puffing on an electronic cigarette.
Smoking is anathema to Deleyiannis
, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with the CU School of Medicine who practices at Children’s Colorado and University of Colorado Hospital. He specializes in skin flap surgery, which involves harvesting tissue from one part of the body to repair damaged areas in another. It is well established that the nicotine and the particulate matter in tobacco cigarettes constricts blood vessels, increases blood clotting and slows wound healing.
“Tobacco can cause part of the flap to die,” Deleyiannis said. “We tell our patients to stop using it at least a month before flap surgery.”