Post Operative Complications

Post Operative Complications

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Sep 2001, 19:32 #1

Most people, when thinking of smoking risks only think of diseases directly caused by smoking. But smoking can play a major risk in treating diseases and injuries that in a true sense are not caused by or have anything to do with smoking. I am referring to the risk of postoperative complications.

Many doctors will hold off doing elective or non-essential surgeries for as long as possible in order to give a patient time to be totally smoke free. This is not a practice done for arbitrary reasons. Surgery is much riskier to perform on a smoker.

Your risks of complications of anesthesia or postoperative complications are much higher while you smoke. These complications can be serious, making you suffer much longer and possibly putting your life at risk. The longer you are off prior to surgery, the lower the risk becomes.

One cardiologist I worked with in smoking cessation programs over 25 years ago studied the risk of postoperative complications at the hospital where he was then chief of cardiology and thoracic surgery.

At that time he found that in non-smokers the postoperative complication rate was 1 in 50. Smokers had a rate of 1 in 3. If the surgeries were elective and they could wait for the patient to quit, he found that if the smoker would quit for just a week, the rates were 1 in 12. Of course it wasn't as good as a person who had been off for years but it was far superior to current smokers.

The longer people were off the closer the rate became to non-smokers levels. The important thing is to quit as far ahead of any procedure as soon as possible. The only way to get maximal benefit of longest-term cessation prior to any future surgery is to stay smoke free today and for as long as you live remember a day at a time to never take another puff!

Joel
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Glenys Goldx3
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

14 Sep 2001, 04:32 #2

Hi Joel, a timely post this one. I have read it before, but in two hours I am going into hospital for knee surgery. When I was filling out the forms, I was so proud to be able to put a big circle around N for Do you smoke? Y or N
I know I am at much less risk and my recovery will be aided by my quit. Also, if I was still smoking, I would be sitting here anxiously lighting one after the other, even though they suggest that if you do smoke, you don't for 24 hours before surgery. How many smokers can do that?
Yet another reason I am so happy and proud of myself for quitting. Cheers, Glenys Image
It is now 4 Months 2 Weeks 6 Days 10 Hours 46 Minutes 15 Seconds since I had my last cigarette. Apparently I am A$890.30 better off. If only I could find that money........
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Glenys Goldx3
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

15 Sep 2001, 17:24 #3

Hello everyone, I am home from hospital now and I just have to tell you that this time I suffered no nausea/vomitting after the anaesthetic, no sore throat from tubes to help me breath (I can do that all by myself now). Blood pressure checked out great prior to surgery and I know my recovery will be much quicker now as a non-smoker. If my knee heals as well as my lungs have, I will be back dancing very soon. Cheers from Glenys Image
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

15 Sep 2001, 21:23 #4

Thanks for the update Glenys. The advantages of not smoking are great under many circumstances. It is amazing how often when a person quits without an education about quitting how such benefits go unnoticed and unappreciated. By ackowledging them when they occur, they help to keep our resolve strong to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Sep 2001, 19:47 #5

I saw where Olive was considering approaching people who were facing upcoming surgeries. I thought this would be a good article to refer to in such instances.
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murphying (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

29 Jan 2002, 19:49 #6

I can remember a few years ago waiting in hospital to have an operation and sitting up all night in the smoker's lounge (they existed in those days!) and chain smoking, even though I had been told not to smoke for a week before the op. How bad is that? Image
Thank God I will never feel the necessity to behave this way again! Image

I have chosen not to smoke for 4 Weeks 7 Hours 16 Minutes 46 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1415. Money saved: NZ$601.45.....I have a brand new printer!

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Rickgoldx5
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

11 Oct 2002, 01:32 #7

Joel ,
Let me if you will share my back surgery story. First this is when I was smoking 4pks a day. I had a bludged disc pressing on a nerve making it so that I couldn't feel half my leg or any of my foot. The doctor took an MRI and said what I really needed was a fusion. He asked if I smoked and like a good addict I pushed out my chest and said yes. He told me to come back in a week. When I went back he said that he couldn't do a fusion unless I quit smoking because the fusion won't heal. Being the "professional" smoker that I was I told him no way. So he made another appointment for the following week. I went in and he said that he could do a decompression operation where he could trim the disc and take the pressure off my nerve. So it was set! The big day came and I think I had 4pks before 11am. I had the operation and 3 hours after I snuck downstairs and was smoking! I.V cart and all! When I got back up to my room the nurse came in to check my blood pressure and it was sky high! She looked at me funny and asked if I went to have a smoke and I told her yes! She then ripped off my nic patch and said never smoke with this on!
The next morning and many trips downstairs later my doctor came in and told me I could go home (only day 2 after the operation) ! I ask why and he said "Because I really don't like my back surgery patients running up and down stairs smoking right after surgery! So I'll let you go home where you can lay down and smoke to your hearts content!"
So let me end with this: I never had my fusion. I can't lift anything and they say it might not do any good now because its been so long.
This was insanity and addiction at its best. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
Rick
Five months, six days, 5 hours, 28 minutes and 49 seconds. 13056 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,951.97. Life saved: 6 weeks, 3 days, 8 hours, 0 minutes.
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Farnk Gold
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:23

11 Oct 2002, 03:22 #8

Like with many of life's lessons, we learn when it's late. Luckily, it's not TOO late. We're all here and celebrating.
Frank
I haven't had a cigarette in 1 Week 5 Days 23 Hours 34 Minutes 54 Seconds.
I haven't smoked: 389 cigarettes.
I've saved: $92.50 and reclaimed 2 Days 16 Hrs 54 Mins 46 Secs of life.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

11 Oct 2002, 08:23 #9

Thank you Rick for sharing your personal experience here covering this issue. You may also find it interesting to read the string, It's only cigarette smoking. Post 18 also talks about doctors refusing to do treatments on smokers for certain ailments.
Last edited by Joel on 19 Sep 2009, 15:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

19 Nov 2002, 12:01 #10

Image I saw where one of our members was facing an upcoming surgery.
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