Can You Smoke Before Hernia Surgery?

In most cases, hernia is not immediately serious. However surgical treatment option is sometimes suggested to cope with. Non-surgical treatments can also help control the disease, preventing it from worsening – but they don’t cure the problem. If your doctor asks you to take hernia surgery, there are some precautions to remember. One of frequently asked questions, can you smoke before your surgery?

About hernia surgery

Your doctor will usually be able to diagnose a hernia through a physical exam of the affected area, looking for any bulge that may signal the problem. You’re usually asked to strain, cough, or stand so the bulge of hernia becomes more prominent.

In some cases, additional tests may be required to provide accurate diagnosis. For example, your doctor may refer to a special lab for imaging test (like an ultrasound scan, MRI, or CT scan) to help analyze the extent of the problem. This is particularly true if the diagnosis of the problem is not readily apparent.

Once your diagnosis has been clearly confirmed, your doctor will determine the most appropriate treatments to cope with.

When does the problem need surgery?

Sometimes doctors may recommend watchful waiting or just applying manual pressure to ease the bulge before considering surgical procedure, because there are some risks of surgical treatment that may outweigh the benefits, though most hernias won’t get better with only non-surgical treatments!

However, again surgery is one of the main treatment options to treat hernia and prevent its serious complications. In general, the decision of whether or not you need surgery depends on a number of factors. The main ones include:

  1. Non-surgical treatment may be suggested as long as the problem isn’t bothering you. But surgery is usually recommended if the problem worsens, gets larger in size, or has caused severe symptoms that bother you a lot.
  2. Though there is a chance for any types of hernia to cause serious complications, some are more likely to turn into serious than others and therefore aggressive treatment such as early surgery is required. See also types of hernia in here!
  3. The hernia content! If it contains a part of important organs such as intestine or bowel, this may cause obstruction (strangulation) and other serious complications if left untreated.
  4. The general health status of patient. For example, if you have poor general health, surgery could put you at too much of a risk.
  5. Sometimes the age of patient matters, too. For example, surgery for inguinal hernia in infants is often required because infants younger than age 6 months are more likely to have strangulation.
Types of hernia surgery

In general there are two main types of hernia surgery can be carried out, open surgery and laparoscopy.

Open surgery is the conventional procedure of surgery in which the surgeon makes a long incision to insert surgical instruments. You may take it with local or general anesthesia. Your surgeon will makes an incision in the affected area so the bulge can be pushed back to the right place. Then the weakened area is sewn, sometimes also reinforced with a hernioplasty (synthetic mesh). If necessary, surgical glue or stitches can be used to help close the opening.

The recovery after surgery usually takes several weeks before you’re able to carry out your normal activities.

Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure, which is more difficult than open hernia repair. General anesthesia is usually required, and surgeons will make several a few small cuts to insert special surgical instruments. The benefits, you can have less scarring or discomforts after surgery. But some experts say the risk of hernia recurrence is higher with laparoscopic procedure than conventional open surgery.

It seems each type of hernia surgery has pros and cons. For more guidance, talk with your surgeon! The most important thing to remember, make sure that the operation can provide benefits that outweigh its potential risks!

So, can you smoke before hernia surgery?

There are some precautions and considerations to remember before having hernia surgery. Again, the risks of the procedure should be concerned as well – talk with your surgeon so you will have the best decision for your condition!

How about smoking? If you’re a smoker, should you stop smoking before the operation?

In general, it’s recommended to stop smoking at least about two months before your surgery (ask your doctor for more guidance). Quitting can help reduce your risk of having surgery-related complications. The earlier you quite, the lower the risk of developing the complications!

If you can stop smoking, your surgery and treatment are more likely to work better. Also, you can add years to your life and improve your overall health! Quitting could save about 6-8 years of your life. Other benefits include:

  1. You’re more likely to have a shorter stay in hospital and a faster recovery.
  2. Saving more money, about $1,300 or more each year.
  3. Reducing the risk of many diseases. The main ones are heart disease and lung cancer.
  4. Keeping second-hand smoke (passive smoking) far away from your loved ones’! Even if you’re not a smoker and you’re undergoing surgery, it’s also recommended to avoid any exposure to second-hand smoke.
  5. And more!

But if you continue to smoke, you will be more likely to have a number of serious complications during and after surgery. Some of them are as follows: