Smoking may impact- recovery after surgery – As per the report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) – patients who quit smoking at least four weeks before the surgical operation, have substantially improved outcomes and fewer post-surgical complications, their chances of readmission in hospitals are also reduced.
“ For doctors around the world, surgery can be a teaching moment,” said Edouard Tursan D ‘ Espaignet, a tobacco researcher at the University of Newcastle in Australia, who collaborated on the WHO study. “We are encouraging entire health systems to take ownership of smoking cessation among their patients”.
What are the effects of smoking on our body?
As per an estimate 19% of all adults in Great Britain smoke. It is around 1 in every 5 persons. 20% of all adult men and 17% of women smoke. Smoking kills app. half of its users and is one of the leading causes of death globally.
As per CDC (Centers for disease control and prevention)- smoking is the number one cause of preventable deaths. Smokers generally die 10 years earlier than- non-smokers. Smoking can adversely impact- recovery after surgery.
Smoking causes serious health problems, including heart disease, asthma, and lung cancer. It is important to quit smoking before surgery as smoking impact the normal working of the heart and lungs. It can create breathing problems during and after surgery and the risk of developing pneumonia increases.
Moreover, smoking reduces blood flow and delays the healing process, thus putting the patient at higher risks of infections. As smoking is the major cause of heart disease, thus chances of suffering a heart attack during or after surgery increase.
Effects of smoking:-
Smoking affects your body as:-
Circulation:- During cigarette smoking toxic chemicals are released into the bloodstream. Which makes your blood thick and enhances the chances of clot formation. It changes the surface of blood platelets- making them easier to clot. Smoking may also damage the lining of blood vessels. It also increases your blood pressure. Which is a precursor to heart disease.
Lungs:– Smoking causes the worst effects on your lungs. A few of the initial causes are- coughing, lower immune system, and asthma. Prolonged smoking may cause pneumonia or lung cancer. App. 84% of deaths due to lung cancer are caused by smoking.
Skin:- Smoking may cause a reduction of oxygen levels in your skin cells. Which makes your skin dull and leads to premature aging. Your skin may show the signs of aging 10 to 20 years early.
Bones:- Smoking causes your bones to become weak and brittle. Women are more prone to brittle bones (osteoporosis). Smoking reduces the blood supply to your bones. The nicotine present in cigarettes slows down the production of bone-producing cells called osteoblasts.
What are the effects of smoking- after surgery?
Your habit of smoking can adversely impact your recovery after surgery. A few of the complications are mentioned below:-
- Smokers may have an increase in chances of developing health complications like- heart attack, stroke, sepsis as compared to non-smokers.
- Smokers immune system gets weakened, thus chances of secondary infections are more.
- Bones healing gets delayed.
- Surgical wounds take more time to heal making them prone to infections.
Thus smoking adversely impacts- recovery after surgery. It slows down the healing process. Bones healing require proper nutrition and oxygen which gets impacted due to smoking. Nicotine reduces the size of blood vessels, which impacts the circulation of blood- carrying nutrients and oxygen- for the proper healing process.
It is also very important to stop smoking in case your child or any family member has to undergo surgery, as your smoking (secondhand smoking) may impact their recovery after surgery also.
“The most obvious complication after surgery is related to lung function, such as an increased risk of pneumonia. But smoking also increases the risk of a poor outcome from the surgery itself,” said Dr. O’Neill.
“Smoking impairs the formation of small blood vessels and therefore impairs the ability to heal. This means that a patient is at higher risk of wound complications and infection. In orthopedic surgery, this means that the bones may not heal. Any of these complications may then require even further surgery.”
Stopping smoking can help-recovery after surgery
Dr. Kevin O’Neill, an OrthoIndy spine surgeon, knows just how big of an impact smoking can have on the recovery process.
”Many of the negative effects of smoking on patients undergoing surgery can be avoided by stopping smoking prior to surgery, staying away from cigarettes during the recovery period, and ideally – quitting forever,” said Dr. O’Neill.
“Stopping well before surgery allows your body time to heal from the damage smoking causes, which can lower the risks of complications.”
Thus smoking cessation before your surgical operation and not smoking afterward increase your chances to heal faster. Quitting smoking enhances blood flow- carrying oxygen and nutrients which help in a speedy recovery and avoid the risk of further complications. For more details- How quitting smoking can heal damaged lung cells <<= Click.
It is found that patients who stopped smoking a month before surgery had lesser complications and every tobacco-free week after surgery improved their health outcomes by 19%.
How smoking impacts recovery after surgery?
As we breathe in oxygen gets absorbed through the lungs into the blood. Oxygen is needed for cells to perform different body functions, including the healing process. Smoking changes the way your body handles oxygen. Smoking makes your blood vessels narrow. This impacts- blood circulation and the oxygen supply- needed for the cells to -optimize the repairing process.
Smoking also makes your blood become thick and impacts the circulation process, especially in the wounded areas. Which may cause wounds to heal at a slower rate.
Smoking also impacts your body’s ability to fight off infection after surgery. The cells which are responsible to fight off infection are impacted due to chemicals present in smoking. Smokers have been known to have four times the risk of infection than non-smokers.
What can be done?
It is suggested to stop smoking 2 to 3 weeks before your due date of surgical operation. And after surgery do not smoke for at least 4 weeks so that the wounds can heal properly. It will always be better to quit smoking to lead a healthy life.
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