Can You Smoke Before Hernia Surgery?

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  1. Tobacco smoke can hurt your heart, making it starve for oxygen. You may breathe more difficult during and after surgery.
  2. Smoking can increase the risk of developing dangerous blood clots inside of your blood vessels after surgery.
  3. It may impair your recovery. For example, your wounds are more likely to heal more slowly. You may also need intensive care after surgery or have a longer stay in hospital.
  4. It increases the risk of infection after your hernia surgery since it can alter your body immune system.
  5. Also, it may affect the way of certain medications to work. As a result, your treatment is less likely to work optimally.
  6. Increased risk of further surgeries.
  7. And more!

Regardless to the kind of procedure you will have, quitting before surgery is worth a try because tobacco smoke can impact your overall body before and after the operation!

Nicotine in tobacco smoke is one of the main reasons. It is to blame for increased blood pressure and heart rate, causing your heart work harder than normal so it will require more oxygen. Also, carbon monoxide (CO) that you inhale when smoking will naturally compete with oxygen in your blood.

Other harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke can harm you healthy-balanced blood supply, because they can make your blood stickier, thicker, and easier to clot. They can also hurt microscopic hairs called ‘cilia’ that are responsible to keep the airways of your lungs clean from unnecessary mucus and dirt.

In essence, again you will have much greater risks for a number of serious surgery-related complications if you continue to smoke.

Smoking is not the only one. People with the following conditions usually also need special preparation or particular instruction to reduce the risk of complications during surgery and recovery:

  1. Those who need regularly take high doses of certain medication, especially some that increase the risk of bleeding after surgery such as aspirin!
  2. A personal history of blood clots, especially in the main /large blood vessels.
  3. Those taking blood thinners, warfarin for example.
  4. Those having other medical conditions that can potentially interfere with treatment, such as urinary problems.

The risk of recurrence is another issue you need to concern. In general, the chance of hernia to return after surgery is low. You should discuss this issue with your surgeon /doctor before surgery, along with the potential risks of the operation!

Article sources:

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/inguinal-hernia/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20206412
  2. http://www.asahq.org/lifeline/anesthesia%20topics/qa%20stop%20smoking