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
- 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 (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 medicines (eg, varenicline, bupropion) that can reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal
- Smoking cessation classes and support groups
- Alternative methods (eg, hypnosis, acupuncture)
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/
American Lung Association http://www.lungusa.org/
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca/
The Lung Association http://www.lung.ca/
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Surgery and smoking. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00262. Updated July 2007. Accessed June 26, 2011.
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- Reviewer: Lawrence Frisch, MD, MPH
- Review Date: 07/2011 -