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Surgeons discourage smoking before surgery

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Avoidance will reduce the risk of undesirable health complications.

Smokers who are scheduled for major procedures have been cautioned by medical professionals in the field of surgery to quit the habit at least six weeks or more prior to the date of the procedure in order to reduce the risk of undesirable consequences. Smoking before surgery is discouraged because it can reduce lung function under anaesthetic, increase the risk of lung infections, delay the healing of the surgical area, and prolong the time it takes to recover. The World Health Organization has issued a strong warning that tobacco smokers have a much higher risk than nonsmokers of experiencing post-surgical problems, including heart and lung dysfunction, infections, and slower or less effective wound healing.

Professor Mike Ogirima of the Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, has stated that smokers may be at an increased risk for developing bronchitis during surgical procedures. It has been linked to general anaesthesia dangers; thus, they recommend quitting for six weeks before major surgery. It is harmful to one’s health. One must have functional lungs before undergoing general anaesthetic. It lowers immune function. If a smoker has significant surgery, wound healing will be affected by these factors. It should be avoided until the surgical site has fully healed. Under anaesthesia, carbon deposits on lung tissue limit oxygen intake. It was found that smoking after a caesarean section lowers immunity and exposes women to infection, according to the orthopaedic and trauma expert.

They have a higher risk of developing an abdominal hernia.

As a former Nigerian Medical Association president, Prof. Ogirima said, It puts people at risk for bronchitis and other lung infections. The pressure inside the abdomen will keep rising as a result of that persistent cough against smoking following surgery, noting that it’s not a good idea to pick up the habit again so soon. As a result, they have a higher risk of developing an abdominal hernia due to the constant increase in intra-abdominal pressure caused by coughing. Professor says major procedures take more than 30 minutes and can result in significant blood loss. Among these, he included brain and hip operations, Caesarean sections, open heart surgeries, fibroid surgeries, and prostate removals.

Associate Professor Bolaji Mofikoya of the Plastic Surgery Unit at the University of Lagos College of Medicine added that it is extremely risky for people who are scheduled to undergo surgery. According to him, the World Health Organization has found that smoking greatly raises the risk of negative outcomes and problems after any surgical procedure. Patients scheduled for elective surgery were advised to quit it four weeks before the procedure in order to reduce risks and maximise benefits. Studies have indicated that it also increases the likelihood of developing potentially fatal lung conditions by clotting blood vessels.

One cigarette can impair the body’s ability after surgery.

Furthermore, it has been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that smokers suffer from reduced lung function during anaesthesia and have a more difficult time recovering after surgical procedures. Wound healing problems, infections, and overall complications are all more common in smokers due to their reduced immune response. The plastic surgeon went on to say that studies have shown that smoking even one cigarette can impair the body’s ability to transport healing nutrients after surgery. Smokers and nonsmokers who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke have worsened outcomes after brain, heart, intestinal, and spinal surgery.

Electronic cigarettes, sometimes known as vaping, have increased in popularity in recent years, especially among young people. Specialists agreed that patients undergoing major surgery should not smoke and should take their health seriously. The World Health Organization further warns that smoking increases the risk of lung issues following surgery because it destroys the lungs and makes it harder for the right amount of air to flow through. There is a higher risk of infection at the wound site because it alters the immune system and slows recovery. According to the international health organisation, surgical complications are a major source of concern for everyone involved.

It increases the risk of having a heart attack.

Lastly, the American Society of Anesthesiologists provides further insight into why it is crucial to quit smoking before surgery by stating, If one smokes, their heart and lungs do not operate as well as they should. Pneumonia is more likely to occur in patients who have difficulty breathing before, during, or after surgery. After surgery, they also have a substantially higher chance of requiring the use of a ventilator. In addition, the healing process is slowed by smoking, increasing the risk of infection at the surgical incision. Smoking greatly increases the risk of having a heart attack before, during, or after surgery due to the fact that it is a leading cause of heart disease.

Related Link

WHO: Website

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