Smoking Greatly Increases Risk of Complications after Surgery

A joint study conducted by the World Health Organization and the University of Newcastle in Australia has found that people who quit smoking tobacco at least four weeks before they undergo surgery have a lower risk of complication and show better results six months later.

The researchers found that patients were less likely to suffer from post-surgical infections and were less likely to be readmitted to the hospital for additional care.

Nicotine and carbon monoxide reduces oxygen levels, which can lead to post-surgical heart complications. Smoking also reduces the effectiveness of our immune systems, increasing risk of infection and slower recovery.

It is vital that practitioners make patients aware of the impact of smoking on recovery. The prospect of surgery can cause anxiety and people may increase tobacco intake in the runup to their operation. Therefore support, guidance and encouragement to help people reduce or stop smoking before undergoing surgery are vital.