Surgery is complicated enough without all the side effects. Typically there are pages of consent forms to sign listing everything that could go wrong. Surgery, whether elective or required is something many will face at some point in their lives. Patients should understand many complications can not be foreseen. However there is one complication that can be avoided and it is in the patient's control and that is smoking.
Certain protocols are in place to help insure the patient's safety during surgery. Some of the more common protocols are no food or water twelve hours before and take a shower to minimize the risk of infection. For smokers there is another requirement, no smoking at least two weeks before and two weeks after. Some surgeons may even ask the patient for as long as four weeks before and after the surgery.
Anesthesiologyinfo.com explains some of the serious side effects smoking can have on the body during surgery. The heart will not function properly because smoking increases carbon monoxide causing the blood to not properly circulate. Carbon monoxide will also attach itself to hemoglobin in the blood which will decrease the amount of oxygen flowing through the blood and body. Nicotine makes the body need more oxygen which will put more stress on the heart, lungs and body which is already under distress from the anesthesia.
The lungs also prone to collapse because the small airways do not function as they should because of smoke and nicotine. Smoking causes more mucus production and the lungs are not able to clear it as quickly as they should, making the patient more prone to serious lung infections such as pneumonia and chronic coughing. Bronchospsams and other infections in the lungs can be fatal and should be taken seriously. Smoking has been linked to dozens of other side effects, ranging from heart attacks to poor wound healing by as many as six times more in smokers versus non smokers.
Leading a healthier life and having a successful surgery is something all doctors wish for their patients. Doctors do not want their patient to have complications before, during or after surgery. This is why they ask for smokers to at least take a break before going under any anesthesia. Making smoking secession a top priority is something all patients should be doing, regardless if they are having surgery or not.
There are many ways for patients to quit smoking. Some of the more common treatments are over the counter, such as the nicotine patch and gum. There are other homeopathic treatments as well such as herbal remedies, acupuncture and hypnosis. While others choose to quit, by using prescriptions such as Zyban and Wellbutrin. Often treatments are combined so the patient is as successful as they can be.
The most important thing is to discuss with your physician to discuss your options and find out which plan will suit you best. There are many choices and options available to help you quit, the time is now. Do not wait until you need major surgery before trying to quit, quit before you get there.