Give up tobacco 12 weeks prior to surgery?

Updated on September 13, 2019 in Pre-Operation Surgery Questions & Answers
6 on September 10, 2019

I took my husband with me to the initial medical consultation and I’m happy to say that the doctor was able to him on board.  However, I was quite discouraged to learn that I would have to give up all tobacco products 12 weeks prior to surgery and would be tested for nicotine the week before my surgery date.  Both my husband and I are smokers.  So what’s the deal here?  Why is it so important to stop smoking before surgery?  Can I take up smoking again after surgery?  

 
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1 on September 10, 2019

I believe it’s the same instructions for every surgery in general because tobacco usage increases the risks of developing a fatal clot or pneumonia.  There are several governmental programs that will help you quit smoking so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need assistance. 

on September 13, 2019

Oh, I see.  I appreciate your informative reply.  I felt like the doctor was sort of shaming me because I’m fat and I smoke. It seemed like he was questioning whether I had enough willpower to take care of myself.  But perhaps I overreacted and the doctor was just trying to impress upon me the seriousness of the issue. 

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1 on September 11, 2019

What Roo says makes a lot of sense. I’m sure it’ll be very challenging to stop smoking, but it will definitely decrease your risk of surgery complications. We are all here to support you in the process. 

on September 13, 2019

Lewis, that is the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me over the internet.  We’re all strangers really, but we get how the other feels and want to support one another.  I appreciate the camaraderie here!

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1 on September 11, 2019

I hope I don’t seem judgmental because that’s not my intention, but if you quit smoking for that long, so you can have the surgery, why on earth would you pick it back up again afterwards?  Leave that bad addiction behind you and embrace your new, healthier life. Hopefully you can convince your husband to quit too, as that will make things easier on you. 

on September 13, 2019

I don’t think you’re being judgmental really.  I’ve had the same thoughts myself.  Smoking is just a tough thing to quit except for when I’m pregnant.  I didn’t want to smoke, then because I was afraid of harming my babies.  We smoke outside, away from the children too.  I guess I need to bite the bullet and quit both vices – greasy food and cigarettes. 

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