There are hundreds of reasons to quit smoking. From health benefits to saving money to image enhancements. As a smoker, you probably already know all the reasons. If you are considering surgery though, quitting smoking is a must to minimize the complications and for quicker healing. In fact, for best results, it is recommended to quit smoking at least four weeks prior to surgery. The following are the reasons why you need to stop smoking before surgery:
- Quitting May Lead to Less Complications – If you quit at least a month before having surgery, studies show that you may have fewer complications during surgery, especially respiratory complications. Smokers have more difficulty coughing up secretions from their lungs, increasing the risks of pneumonia and lung collapse after a general anesthetic.
- You May Experience Quicker Healing – For those who quit smoking before surgery, their wounds are likely to heal faster than those who don’t quit. Smoking affects inflammatory and reparative cell functions which can delay healing.. Nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood vessels, which will decrease blood flow to the tissues that have to heal.
- Can Increase Risks of Anesthesia – If an anesthesiologist has to administer a general anesthetic to a smoker, their job becomes more complicated. The ventilator, the part of the anesthetic machines that help you breath must put forth more effort to keep a smoker breathing during a surgery procedure as they may be dealing with compromised lungs.
- Serious Risks to Your Heart– There is an increased risk for issues regarding your heart both during and after surgery, due to smoking.
All things considered, it is your best bet to quit smoking before undergoing surgery. Your doctor or surgeon can advise you to the suggested length of time you need to quit before your surgery day. In addition, surgery may be the opportune time for a smoker to truly kick the habit for good. Consider the reasons why you need to stop smoking before surgery, weigh them carefully, and consult with your doctor or surgeon for further counsel.