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Smokers and surgery? Do they mix? Smokers and surgery? Do they mix?

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Unread 11-05-2004, 10:50 AM
Smokers and surgery? Do they mix?

I know that the medical community, (shoots, any community at large for that matter), have problems with smoking. I am cool with (almost - after all, smoking was the norm for many households growing up for me but I'm not going to beech about that)
My main concern is if my smoking sisters stopped smoking for the surgery, were prescribed something to help, how did it affect the surgery if it did at all.
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Unread 11-05-2004, 11:35 AM
Smokers and surgery? Do they mix?

I had an LAVH on October 26th, 2004. I am 10 days post-op. I am assuming that you are a smoker because of your question. I have been a smoker for about 10 years. I have been trying to quit for a long time.

I guess I decided that this would probably be the time to quit. I was a heavily addicted smoker too. Couldn't function without at least 2 cigarettes in the morning. In fact, I had about half a cigarette the morning of my surgery, which was a no-no, that's how bad it was.

I was in the hospital for 2 nights and 3 days. My surgery was in the morning. I actually brought nicotine patches to the hospital because I was worried.

After surgery you are, pretty much, heavily medicated with pain meds. You aren't really thinking of smoking until the next day. I tried to put a patch on the day (with my Dr.'s permission) after surgery but it made me very sick. I think it was the mixture of all the anasthesia and pain meds. I had to take it off.

The cravings several days afterward were not strong because I was on Darvocet and resting in bed most of the time.

It hasn't been easy and I have had a half of a cigarette since then, but I feel SO MUCH BETTER NOW. It feels SO GOOD to wake up and not think about a relax and stretch a little. And, I think it has helped me in having a smooth recovery, so far.

Hope I helped.

Donna C.

10 days post-op...LAVH - They took everything, thank goodness!
Unread 11-05-2004, 05:33 PM
Smokers and surgery? Do they mix?

I'd tried to quit for 29 years. Fortunately, I was able to do it prior to my thing I ever did! I am a nurse and have always known/seen what decreased oxygen levels do to healing. Smoking just one cigarette can instantly drop the oxygen in your blood from 94% to 89%. Nonsmokers usually have 100% oxygen saturation in their blood. When you have your surgery, make sure you let them know you are/have been a smoker....they'll not worry, then, when they cannot get your sats up to 100%, and they'll keep oxygen on you longer, too. Healing relies on oxygenated blood. If you smoke, it can slow down the process, even make you more prone to infection. I don't think you'll wanna try to quit AFTER surgery..................don't think I could have done that...........woulda gone nuts! Best of luck.....I know it's not easy.

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