A doctor has warned that women who smoke regularly before or after a breast lift surgery are at great risk of seeing their nipples turn black and fall off.
When the blood supply is inadequate, which occurs with smoking, the tiniest veins often fail. This insufficiency results in a backup of old (venous) blood in the body part, causing it to turn purple.
If the backup of old blood is serious enough, the purple color may eventually turn black, indicating that the body part is dead.
"The nicotine in cigarettes and the carbon monoxide contained in cigarette smoke can diminish blood flow to various parts of the body," CNN.com quoted Dr Anthony Youn, a surgeon in the Detroit metropolitan area in the US as saying in his memoir 'In Stitches'.
"These toxins act as a virtual tourniquet. If the blood flow to a particular body part becomes greatly reduced or halted, that body part dies," he said.
"I now offer the Plastic Surgeon's Warning to all my patients who smoke: If you are having a breast lift or reduction and you smoke, your nipples could turn black and fall off," he added.