Tobacco smokers are at significantly higher risk than non-smokers for post-surgical complications including impaired heart and lung functions, infections and delayed or impaired wound healing.

But new evidence reveals that smokers who quit approximately 4 weeks or more before surgery have a lower risk of complication and better results 6 months afterwards. Patients who quit smoking tobacco are less likely to experience complications with anesthesia when compared to regular smokers.

A new joint study by the World Health Organization (WHO), the University of Newcastle, Australia and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA), shows that every tobacco-free week after 4 weeks improves health outcomes by 19%, due to improved blood flow throughout the body to essential organs.

 

Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin from Chalakudy, India [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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