View Full Version : Interesting video on smoking before/after surgery

09-10-2008, 01:51 PM

they even mention spine surgery. Funny, I never, ever heard of this before I heard it here from you guys. Good thing I don't smoke, and never did :)

09-10-2008, 07:01 PM
I quit smoking 2 years ago this month (after 25 years ... UGH!).

Surgery wasn't even a curiousity to me then, so I didn't do it to help ensure fusion. Watching my Dad die of lung cancer didn't make me quit. Seeing what it did to my face didn't make me quit.

Only when I saw my son (just shy of 19 then) pick it up, did I say "enough".

It's a tough habit to kick, and no one stops until they're motivated. I've quit more times than I can count, and this was the first time I immediately saw myself as a non-smoker vs. "refraining".

The link to smoking and recovery (from any surgery) isn't new. I've been through 3 knee surgeries (2 involving bone modification) and an ankle reconstruction. Every ortho I had for those (even as far back as my first knee surgery in 1992) told me smoking retards healing. I am just SO glad I was motivated to quit before I even thought about THIS surgery. It's awful to imagine wanting it done as badly as I did ... and knowing I couldn't do it because I was heavily compromising the chance of success.

I've also heard that even nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, lozenges) can be detrimental, but I don't think all surgeons buy that (kind of how they're split on NSAIDs). I was still using about one 4mg lozenge a day when I first had my consult with Hanson, and he wasn't concerned.

All I'll say if there is no way in HELL I'd have even *considered* this surgery if I still smoked.

Interesting they mentioned infections: I did smoke when I had breast augmentation surgery in 2001, and I developed MRSA (no doubt, in the hospital ... it was FAR more rampant then). Did my smoking lower my immunity? Maybe. I'll probably never know the answer to that one.

Thanks for posting that, Debbe. Whether the data is old hat or breaking news, there ARE still a lot of people who don't know ... and any smoker considering fusion (*especially!*) needs to address that addiction at least 6-12 months in advance.


09-10-2008, 07:46 PM
Good for you for quitting Pam, no matter how long you smoked, you quit and that's what matters.