Smoking and surgery

Most of us know what the risk of smoking is and even more there are certain situations when risk is more dangerous than usual. One of these situations is smoking before surgery. The latest studies at the Medical College of Wisconsin have shown that smoking before surgery can minify blood flow to the heart. Harvey J. Woehlk, M.D., found that those who smoked during the last 24 hours before outpatient surgery with general anesthesia were having episodes of inadequate oxygen supply to the heart 20 time more than those who were non-smokers, ex-smokers.

Smoking can damaged heart if untreated. Dr. Woehlck says: "General anesthesia and surgery cause stress.There is the possibility of pain, changes in blood pressure, loss of blood, and other events that occur during surgery." These episodes of inadequate oxygen supply to the heart in patients who were taken part in the study lasted only a few minutes because they were being observed. "We were able to reduce cardiac workload with medications and avoid problems in these patients. If this goes untreated for 20 to 30 minutes it can begin to damage the heart muscle, similar to the damaged that occurs during a heart attack.” Dr. Woehlck and the researchers in this study observed 740 patients under the age 65. Of those who participated in the study, 274 were smokers, and 67 of the smokers had smoked before surgery, despite the order to resist from smoking prior to their surgery. Dr. Woehlck says that people prefer to have outpatient surgery, instead of being hospitalizated, and thus have access to cigarettes before their surgery. This can cause bad decisions – despite warnings against it, nevertheless some patients do smoke shortly before their procedure. Dr. Woehlck warns "Don’t smoke before surgery." And also notes that smoking is an unhealthy habit, and when it is combined with the stress of surgery, it can be doubly hazardous. "You can do one thing wrong and maybe get away with it. If you do two things wrong at the same time, it will catch up with you,” says Dr. Woehlck.


Cigarette smoking remains the main preventable cause of death in the United States, accounting for approximately 1 of every 5 deaths (440,000 people) each year. Coronary heart disease, cancer (all types) can be caused by smoking.

According to researchers patients can help themselves to improve their results after surgery if they are nonsmokers or have stopped smoking. Results after surgery were significantly better for people who never smoked and for those who stopped smoking than for smokers.

The problem is that smoking reduces the amount of oxygen available to the cell for healing. It happens when the small blood vessels shrink, the amount of hemoglobin available to move oxygen around the body and by interfering with the special chemicals that allow the release of oxygen to the cells reduces. There is some evidence that smoking in those around you – second hand smoke – may also delay healing or cause problems. Most doctors prefer that their patients would stop smoking for several weeks before surgery. Unfortunately, the use of nicotine gum is helpless around the time of surgery. The nicotine can interfere with healing in the same way as nicotine in cigarettes. Smoking crosses with healing because it reduces the blood flow to the cell the ability of hemoglobin to move oxygen and finally it reduces the amount of oxygen released to the cells.

Smoking and liposuction

For general health reasons, it is recommended that all patients stop smoking. It is obvious that smoking increases the risk for developing for such deseases as cancer (all sorts), breathing problems (emphysema) and circulatory problems, heart attacks are also linked to smoking. Smoking can increase the risk of coughing after the surgery. This can lead to unwanted bleeding. As it was mentioned smoking reduces blood flow that can result in skin loss during the healing period. These problems can destroy the results of liposuction and lead to revision surgery. It is always best to stop smoking. Smoking delays healing and can cause skin’s death leaving bad scars. Doctors prefer their patients to stop smoking for two weeks before and after the operation. If you need help to stop, contact particular associations which can help you. Don’t smoke 3 weeks before and after surgery. Smoking has a deep effect on reducing wound healing capabilities. It significantly increases the risk for infection to appear, wound healing problems, and scar formation. It also affects making the anesthesia. Some difficulties can arise during the anesthesia procedure.

Smoking and breast augmentation

Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood, which slow healing by the constricting the capillaries. Most doctors will reccomend that you will stop smoking prior to your surgery. Breast lift patients have even more reason to stop smoking. Why? – Lack of oxygen to the tissues can cause necrosis, this means death of healthy tissue. Due to the amount of hacks that are using during the breast lift (depending on what type of lift you get), you will most certainly not want to endager the level of oxygen that is supplied to those tissues. In some cases, lack of oxygen can lead to necrosis, which can lead to extrusion of the breast implants , not to mention about a higher risk of infection, as well as ugly scarring.

Smoking and rhinoplasty

If you’re a smoker, it’s important that you stop smoking for at least two weeks before and after rhinoplasty . Smoking significantly reduces your body’s circulation and vascularity, besides smokers generally heal slower and increase their risk of other complications such as necrosis, scarring, and skin loss. Also there are another issues related to smoking after rhinoplasty which can cause potentional coplications, these are: airway obstruction; anesthesia reaction; asymmetry; bleeding – bleeding can occur for up to four weeks following surgery, to fix this problem, the nasal packing may be required to control the bleeding and to minimize it. It is important that the patient not blow or pick the nose; burst blood vessels – though a rare occurrence; it is possible for small burst blood vessels to appear on the surface of the skin as tiny red spots which may be permanent; depressions of the skin; discoloration of the skin; extrusion of implants, and many others complications.

This information was not set forth to scare you, it was set forth to bring “smoking problem” up to discussion, and to show what can happen if you won’t stop smoking at least for a period of time, while all the course of healing will be over.

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