Smoking can make your nipples fall off

PHOTO: Smoking can make your nipples fall off

Women with breast implants should take care not to smoke - they face the risk of becoming nipple-less.

That's what top plastic surgeon Dr Anthony Youn warned on CNN's health blog The Chart, that smoking before or after a breast lift surgery can cause a woman's nipples to turn black and fall off.

According to him, the nicotine in cigarettes and the carbon monoxide contained in cigarette smoke can diminish the blood flow to various parts of the body.

These toxins essentially act as a tourniquet, restricting blood flow to body parts.

If a body part receives too little or no blood, that body part dies, he explained.

This is what often happens to the tiniest veins, like those in the nipples.

In his memoir "In Stitches", he recounted a story of a smoker whose nipples turned purple while undergoing a breast lift surgery.

A body part turns purple before it turns black, after which it falls off, he said.

This is because an inadequate flow of blood to the blood veins of a body part results in a backup of old blood, which makes it turn purple.

Leeches, anyone?


If the backup of old blood turns serious enough, it may turn black, which signals that that body part is dead.

The patient's nipples were eventually saved using leeches to suck out the excess old blood, which acted as an attachable vein and returned the nipples' colour to a healthy pink.

Now Dr Yuon warns all smokers that their nicotine habit may cause them to lose a body part.

If you are doing work on your breasts and smoke, your nipples may fall off. If you are having a tummy tuck and you smoke, you may get an infection that will result in a gaping open wound that might take up to three months to heal.

If you are thinking of having a face lift but you smoke, don't. Your cheek skin could turn black and slough off, the good doctor warned.