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Why You Should Be Smoke-Free for Surgery
Facing the Potential Risks
- Needing to stay in the hospital longer
- Needing more follow-up visits with the doctor
- Having more pain, bleeding, and less functioning after surgery
- Getting an infection
- Being sent to the intensive care unit (ICU)
- Being readmitted to the hospital
Zeroing in on Your Goal
Starting the Process
- Nicotine replacement products, including patches, gum, and lozenges—While using one of these products is a much safer choice than smoking, you should still talk to your doctor about any potential risks nicotine may pose during or after surgery.
- Nicotine inhalers or nasal sprays
- Prescription medications that can reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal
- Smoking cessation classes and support groups
- Alternative methods, such as hypnosis or acupuncture
American Lung Association http://www.lung.org
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Lindstrom D, Sadr Azodi O, Wladis A, et al. Effects of a perioperative smoking cessation intervention on postoperative complications: a randomized trial. Ann Surg. 2008;248(5):739-745.
Lindstrom D, Sundberg-Petersson I, Adami J, Tønnesen H: Disappointment and drop-out rate after being allocated to control group in a smoking cessation trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2010;31:22-26.
Nasell H, Adami J, Samnegard E, Tonnesen H, Ponzer S. Effect of smoking cessation intervention on results of acute fracture surgery: a randomized controlled trial. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010;92(6):1335-1342.
Smoking and wound healing. Univeristy of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics website. Available at: http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/B%5FEXTRANET%5FHEALTH%5FINFORMATION-FlexMember-Show%5FPublic%5FHFFY%5F1117547770797.html. Updated May 14, 2013. Accessed September 26, 2013.
Surgery and smoking. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00262. Updated July 2007. Accessed September 26, 2013.
Thomsen T, Tønnesen H, Moller AM. Effect of preoperative smoking cessation interventions on postoperative complications and smoking cessation. Br J Surg. 2009;96(5):451-461.
Thomsen T, Vellebro N, Moller AM. Interventions for preoperative smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(9):CD002294.
Tobacco use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated August 14, 2013. Accessed September 26, 2013.
Tonnesen H. Surgery and smoking at first and second hand: time to act. Anesthesiology. 2011;115(1):1-3.
When smokers quit—What are the benefits over time? The American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-benefits. Updated July 8, 2013. Accessed Septembe 26, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 00/92/2013