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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tallahassee, Fl.
    Posts
    33

    Stopping smoking before spinal fusion surgery

    Hey all...i'm back. My son is coming up on his spinal surgery revision june 14th, but he is still struggling with stopping smoking. He has almost completely quit, but still smoking on some days maybe 5 or 6 cigs. This is such a mess. He was supposed to have stopped a month ago. He hasn't told the surgeon he is still smoking because he believes as long as he isn't smoking for at least 2 weeks before the surgery and doesn't smoke after he will be ok. Any input will be greatly appreciated. I keep telling him it's not worth going through this huge procedure if he doesn't give his body long enough to get rid of the nicotine. How long have others been told to stop smoking before? This is so messed up and me being his mother am in a pickle having taken time off work and taking out loan, fmla in place...etc. I will have a hard time getting my hours back at work...please help!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    I hate to be the bearer of the message but 3 different doctors I saw said they won't even consider surgery on someone that smokes. One said they have to be smoke free for 3 months, and Dr. Lenke's rule was 6 months. I'm not sure but I think they might even have a test to make sure that you have been smoke free. The problem is fusion will not take hold. It is a big deal. Does his surgeon know he's still smoking? Good luck to you both. I wish it was an easier and better answer. Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    966
    Oh, I'm sorry for the situation you're in. I agree with Janet; the chances of fusion being successful if you're smoking are dramatically reduced. I would suggest telling the surgeon and seeing if it makes sense to postpone. Maybe there is something medical the surgeon can offer to help with the smoking cessation. I know my Valium label said it was sometimes used for that. Valium isn't contraindicated for fusion, though it, too, can be habit-forming. Best of luck! Let us know what you do.
    age 44
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    All of the surgeons that I have seen have said the same thing .They will not even consider doing surgery on a patient who smokes. They all said the patient had to be smoke free for a period of time. I am afraid that your son is in a bad place right now. I wish that the news was different , but smoking interferes greatly with fusion

    Best of luck to you both
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tallahassee, Fl.
    Posts
    33
    You are all making sense and I know I am going to have to call him and cancel. It just doesn't make sense to go through with this huge surgery...T1-S1 if he hadn't laid down the smokes. Jeez...what a major pain it is going to be for me with work and all. But...I have to put myself in the rear and consider his situation first! Thank you everyone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    Hopefully the fact that he cannot have the surgery until he stops smoking will be the push for your son to quit

    Good Luck
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

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