Research Findings Recommend Pre-surgical Smoking Cessation

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While smokers usually experience longer recovery times and an increased risk of complications when undergoing surgical procedures, a new report reveals quitting smoking soon before surgery does not have a negative impact on surgical outcome.

The author’s of the report out of this month’s Archives of Internal Medicine gives smokers the go ahead to quit. “Compared with nonsmokers, smokers who undergo surgery have longer hospital stays, higher risk of readmission, are more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit, and have an increased risk of in-hospital mortality,” the background to the report said. But, “there is no beneficial or detrimental effect of quitting within eight weeks before surgery compared with continue(d) smoking,” wrote several London colleges in a news release.

The researchers stress that these preliminary findings should be interpreted with some degree of caution. New studies, they say, should be conducted with very short smoking cessation periods before surgery. While more research is required, “until some new evidence of harm emerges, firm advice to stop smoking and an offer of smoking cessation treatment to those who need it can be provided to pre-surgical patients at any time,” they said.

This gives quitters and potential quitters one less reason to delay their quit date.

Photo: Werneuchen, Wikimedia. No endorsement implied.