Smoking increases your risk of problems during and after your operation. Quitting 4–6 weeks before your operation and staying smoke-free 4 weeks after it can decrease your rate of wound complications by 50%. Quitting permanently can add years to your life.
As listed on the American Cancer Society website:
Nicotine replacement and other medicines can help reduce many of the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Most smokers find that the bigger challenge is the mental part of quitting. If you have been smoking for any length of time, smoking has become linked with nearly everything you do—waking up in the morning, eating, and drinking coffee. It will take time to “un-link” smoking from these activities, which is why, even if you are using a nicotine replacement, you may still have strong urges to smoke.
Talk to your health care provider about the best option to help you with quitting, but know how truly important it is that you quit before your operation.
The National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation provides the latest information on how to quit smoking with its program called “Become an EX.” Proven methods to teach smokers how to quit and stay quit are provided.
The American Lung Association has information and plans like its “Freedom from Smoking” program, an online program that takes you through modules and provides you with the tools you need to quit.
The American Cancer Society has helpful detailed information and a hotline number on its website. Call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit this site.
Extensive help resources from government and professional associations offering quit help. CDC.gov/tobacco
Support by phone or Internet including “talk to an expert.” smokefree.gov
This information is published to educate you about preparing for your surgical procedures. It is not intended to take the place of a discussion with a qualified surgeon who is familiar with your situation. It is important to remember that each individual is different, and the reasons and outcomes of any operation depend upon the patient’s individual condition. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is a scientific and educational organization that is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery; it was founded to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient. The ACS has endeavored to present information for prospective surgical patients based on current scientific information; there is no warranty on the timeliness, accuracy, or usefulness of this content.