Post Operative Complications

Joined: 13 Jan 2009, 22:57

27 Jan 2004, 10:33 #21

My father was operated on about 6 years ago to remove his gall bladder. About 5 months later, he had surgery to remove scar tissue that built up from back surgery he had in 1960. He was about 64 years old 6 years ago when he had these procedures performed. When he was in the recovery room after the back operation, his lung collapsed.

My dad has always had a high pain threshold. For example, a root canal was nothing to him. However, I never saw him in so much pain as when his lung collapsed. It's been a few years, so the memory is no longer fresh in my mind, but I do remember he had a tube coming out of his side and he couldn't move a centimeter in that hospital bed without grimacing in excruciating pain. He was in pain for a long time afterwards.

The doctors said that his lung collapsed because of his age and because he had surgery fairly recently before this procedure. They also said that him being a smoker (since he was about 14 years old) was a contributing factor. He quit smoking for a while after that, but of course he succumbed to his addiction and began smoking again. In 2002, however, he had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. He is doing well now, I am lucky to say and he is finally nicotine free. This story is yet another compelling testament to the addiction of nicotine, as well as the fact that I continued to use nicotine after seeing my father go through all of that.

But now I am finally nicotine free, for two weeks, 22 hours, 10 minutes and 18 seconds. I have NOT smoked 447 cigarettes, saving $100.73. Life saved: 1 day, 13 hours, 15 minutes.

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 Apr 2004, 05:51 #22

Australian smokers should be denied
elective surgery, say doctors

April 5, 2004
New Zealand Herald
Smokers should be denied joint replacement surgery, breast reconstruction and a wide range of other elective surgery, say doctors.

Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke slow down circulation and wound healing, and leave smokers more susceptible to post-operative infection and breathing difficulties, thoracic expert Dr Matthew Peters said in the Medical Journal of Australia.

"The risk of adverse outcomes from wound infections alone is clear enough evidence to suggest that aesthetic plastic surgery should not be offered to current smokers."

Medical ethicist Dr Nicholas Tonti-Filippini said to deny smokers surgery would be to violate human rights.
©Copyright 2004, New Zealand Herald

MareBear GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

05 Apr 2004, 23:40 #23

Last week, I underwent lapryscopic surgery to remove my gallbladder. A very good friend of mine had the same procedure done 3 weeks earlier. We of course compared notes; and found we were both in the same recovery room in the same hospital. But there is where the similarities end. We had different surgeons (different HMO's I guess!) in different offices, and everything from incision sites to instructions prior and after surgery were very different. I did notice on my pre-admitting instructions that if I were a smoker, I should stop ("or cut down" but I chose to ignore that part, LOL). My friend, who is a smoker, was not given that instruction. (In fact, when I asked her about it she gave me this defiant look and said "nnnnnope" as if the doctor were actually giving her the green light to smoke!) I printed out this thread for her and she said she'd look it over. (hmph)
Well, my procedure went just fine. I was sent home 5 hours afterward. And, six days after my surgery I am back at work and feeling great. She had a very bad reaction to the anesthesia and had to stay overnight in the hospital, and took two weeks off to recover. Her scars are slowly healing; mine have already caught up to hers! Not that I wish her any discomfort; she's a dear friend. And not that she's had all this trouble just because she's a smoker. But I don't know that that isn't the reason, either.

Just another reason to be grateful I no longer smoke.

MareBear Image

Free for: 1 Year 10 Months 1 Week 13 Hours. Not smoked: 13551. Money saved: $2,371.53. Life Saved: 1 Month 2 Weeks 2 Days 1 Hour 15 Minutes.

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 May 2004, 20:29 #24

Ann Surg. 2003 Jul;238(1):1-5.

Abstinence from smoking reduces incisional wound infection: a randomized controlled trial.
Sorensen LT, Karlsmark T, Gottrup F.
*Copenhagen Wound Healing Center and the dagger Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen Hospital Corporation, Denmark.
OBJECTIVE Clinical studies show that the incidence of postoperative wound complications is higher in smokers than nonsmokers. In this study, we evaluated the effect of abstinence from smoking on incisional wound infection.
METHODS Seventy-eight healthy subjects (48 smokers and 30 never-smokers) were included in the study and followed for 15 weeks. In the first week of the study, the smokers smoked 20 cigarettes per day. Subsequently, they were randomized to continuous smoking, abstinence with transdermal nicotine patch (25 mg per day), or abstinence with placebo patch. At the end of the first week and 4, 8, and 12 weeks after randomization, incisional wounds were made lateral to the sacrum to excise punch biopsy wounds. At the same time identical wounds were made in 6 never-smokers. In 24 never-smokers a wound was made once. All wounds were followed for 2 weeks for development of wound complications.
RESULTS A total of 228 wounds were evaluated. In smokers the wound infection rate was 12% (11 of 93 wounds) compared with 2% (1 of 48 wounds) in never-smokers (P <0.05). Wound infections were significantly fewer in abstinent smokers compared with continuous smokers after 4, 8, and 12 weeks after randomization. No difference between transdermal nicotine patch and placebo was found.
CONCLUSIONS Smokers have a higher wound infection rate than never-smokers and 4 weeks of abstinence from smoking reduces the incidence of wound infections.
PMID: 12832959

Instr Course Lect. 2004;53:325-40.

Lumbar arthrodesis for degenerative conditions.

Glaser JA, Bernhardt M, Found EM, McDowell GS, Wetzel FT.

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

There is significant disagreement among spine surgeons regarding the optimal technique of arthrodesis for treatment of degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine. Degenerative conditions of the lumbar spine include degenerative disk "disease," post-decompression degeneration, degenerative spondylolisthesis, junctional degeneration, spondylolis, and low-grade lytic spondylolisthesis. Although it is impossible to develop strict evidence-based criteria for the selection of one surgical approach over another, some generalizations are possible based on empiric process, anecdotal experience, and published surgical series. Patient selection, cessation of nicotine use, and use of autologous bone graft are factors that influence clinical outcome after lumbar arthrodesis.

PMID: 15116625 [PubMed - in process]

kattatonic1 gold4
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Jun 2004, 06:51 #25

ImageFor Erica and her friend R., and everyone else facing recovery from anything. (Guess that's all of us at some time or other! Image)

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

02 Jul 2004, 02:45 #26




Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 Oct 2004, 19:16 #27

For anyone who was planning on quitting at some future date but suddenly finds out that he or she may need an emergency surgery this week because of an ongoing smoking induced illness, or because of an sudden onset illness, or because of an accident or injury totally unrelated to your smoking. Your future quit date may do you no good at the time you needed it most, if that time is today. The day you quit smoking you instantly start to reduce your risk of post-operative complications and a host or other problems, and these risks continue to drop throughout your life if you simply stick to your commitment to never take another puff!


Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:07

22 Feb 2005, 19:21 #28

Thanks, Joel, if this is for me. This crossed my mind. I've had some surgery as a smoker. It's an obvious huge risk to anesthesia as well as complications. I am very proud that at all of my dr. appts I can say NO to the "do you smoke?" questions.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Feb 2005, 22:35 #29

I am glad you found this Cheryl. You really have done a great favor for yourself by quitting well in advance of the surgery. To always keep your chances of complications from surgery lower, and in the long run reducing your chances of needing future surgeries for smoking induced conditions just always remember to stick with your commitment to never take another puff! Joel

kattatonic1 gold4
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Aug 2005, 10:47 #30

Image We have many members who have benefitted from their quit by healing better after any ordeal ~ related to smoking or not.