Stop Smoking For Safer Surgery

AHN News
15 Jul 2009

Toronto, Ontario (AHN) - The Ontario Anesthesiologists warned residents of the danger of smoking prior to a surgical procedure by launching a campaign on its action plan. Among the perils of lighting up before an operation are higher risks of infection, slower recovery time and increased readmission rates.

Dr. Steven Bodley, chair of the Ontario Anesthesiologists which belongs to the Ontario Medical Association, said in a statement, "The action plan that we have developed is not only simple and inexpensive to implement, but it will also help patients understand the risks they face if they don't quit before surgery and the benefits if they do."

The OA has been pushing for the Stop Smoking for Safer Surgery campaign since last year. The give the campaign a boost, they bared the five-point action plan which includes identifying smokers schedule for a surgery, explain the risks before and after the operation, refer the smokers to cessation service, gathering data about the last time the patient smoked and attempting the flush out the toxins caused by tobacco smoke and follow ups after the surgery.

Patients who quit smoking 6 to 8 weeks before their surgery stayed in a hospital an average of 11 days compared to 13 days for those who just cut their smoking. Only 18 percent of quitters reported difficulty in breathing after the operation versus 48 percent for those who refused to kick the habit.

Quitters have a complication rate of 18 percent as against 52 percent for smokers.

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