How Smoking Affects Surgery

How Smoking Affects Surgery

If you are a smoker and need surgery, your doctor may be hesitant to operate. Smoking aggravates and initiates health problems. It also increases complications and recovery rates that can lead your surgeon to delay surgery. The bottom line: Smoking raises a caution flag in surgery candidates.  Here is why.

Patients that smoke are at higher risk for concerns such as:

       
  • Circulation and oxygen complications during surgery.
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  • Increased rate of post-operative wound infections.
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  • An elevated risk of ending up in the ICU due to oxygenation demands or EKG changes.
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  • A hospital stay that may lend itself to additional complications.

When planning a surgery, activating the best possible outcome for the patient is the goal.  Smokers have additional risks that can be a genuine concern. For these reasons, it is recommended that smokers abstain from smoking for as long as possible before their upcoming procedure.

Not only will your surgeon recommend you stop smoking, but with additional assertion, the anesthetist will also be on board with the patient's smoking cessation. The good news is that smoking cessation programs are widely available for patients. Both nurses and doctors are skilled in assisting with coping mechanisms that help the patient overcome cravings and triggers. Do not hesitate to ask about all the options and help available. Also, let your family know so that they can support your efforts. After your surgery, continuing to be smoke-free will aid in your recovery and help your overall health in general.