Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Weight loss,smoking and a spinal fusion....

wildfire_101wwildfire_101 Posts: 68
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello again...I have a question for you guys.. And this might sound kind of "weird" but i am curious about something..I have a spinal fusion surgery coming up as you might know and i have read on here and was told i should try and lose a few pounds before i have it done... I am not that over weight, maybe about 25 to 30 pounds give or take....Anyway I was told on here throught a few posts that it is good to lose a few pounds before surgery if i could to help with healing process.. well i can tell you that there is no way i am going to be able lose weight before my surgery. I have been trying for the last few months and cca't lose anything but I'm not gaining anything either...so my question is has anyone lost any weight after they had surgery, as in post op? I have seen on some of the post from people who have had surgery that they were on a strict "diet" the first few days post op..I dont know if this is true for everyone, so that is why i was asking. With me the Lyrica i am on for some reason stops me from losing weight.. and i have gained at least 25lbs since i have been on it. It'll be a year in February that i have been on the medication..i hope this question didnt sound to "vain" persay but i was just wondering if anyone has lost anything...It would be nice to lose a few because i can afford too...I am also going to quit smoking once i have surgery. Once i check into the hospital that morning to go in for this, that will be the last time i smoke. and i am sure i won't be up for going outside to try and accomplish even smoking a cigarette.. My doctor told me to quit before hand but havent been able to do that either. Smoking is my only bad habit being i dont drink or do anything else and it is really hard to quit, especially cold turkey...that was another reason why i was asking about the weight loss....B/c i was worried I'd put on a few pounds just trying to do that.. So any advice anyone can offer i would greatly appreciate...:)


  • wildfire, the reason so many doctors push patients to quit smoking isn't just to promote a healthier lifestyle; it is to prevent many surgical complications typical to smokers.

    Smoking paralyzes the cleaning mechanism of the lungs, making it harder and harder to clear secretions (thus the smoker's cough). It makes it far more risky to put someone under general anesthesia, for which you must be intubated; you may very likely experience a bit more difficulty waking from the anesthetic once surgery is over. Smoking also interferes with wound healing and increases your possibility of infection post surgery. I'm a surgical nurse who has had many, many heavy smokers as patients, and we have experienced more than a few difficulties because of their smoking.

    As far as your weight loss, 25-30 lbs. overweight is not a big problem to deal with surgically; increased risks occur with cases of obesity (increased risk of infection since fat lacks vascular tissue to bring blood/nutrients to the area; difficulty with intubation because of increased neck size; and if there are related breathing issues, possible problems with anesthesia). Morbid obesity is also likely to prevent the patient from activity such as walking, which is vital to getting the gut working again post-surgery.

    I understand your concerns. I've had neck and back surgery myself, as well as about 9 other procedures in the past year. I'm an ex-smoker myself, and I quit cold-turkey two years ago next month. I've been out of my job for more than a year, gone through most all of my and my husband's savings/retirement money, and was dealing with Social Security disability application for 8 months. I thought we were going to lose our house and everything we owned -- and with all of that, I never had a relapse. I'm not saying it is an easy thing at all, just that it is possible if you believe it is important enough and you want it enough.

    Lyrica/gabapentin is "responsible" for some weight gain for alot of people, insofar as it increases the appetite. Knowing that, you can take action to make sure that you have healthy food around. Beware of untreated depression as well, because the fight-or-flight mode will decrease your metabolism as well.

    You can do what you set your mind to, you need to believe that. Take one thing at a time -- but the best time to quit smoking when you're having surgery will always be *now*, you need to know that.

    Best of luck to you.
  • I really hope that you will be able to quit smoking. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done, and for months it was a battle, but I have now been an ex smoker for over a year.

    Before that I quit for my surgery, and six months after started again,, then after six months of smoking, quit and that is where I am now.

    Ohhh, it must be so like an alcholic and drinks, one for me will not be enough, I know if I have just one puff, that I will cough, choke, hate the taste, but keep on puffing, so I know, SMOKING is NOT an OPTION,, that was my mantra for so long, still is.

    All the benefits too of not smoking, saving money, taste things better, don't smell like an ashtray, smell things better, breath better, healed better.

    I wish you much luck in your upcoming surgery, and your fight to quit smoking, Just remember,,, SMOKING is NOT an OPTION ! !
  • Wildfire, I was an active person until my accident just over a year ago. I have smoked for far to long for me to admit to. I also have put on weight (about 10lbs)dispite cutting my eating right down and being "healthier" in what I eat but inactivity has a price to pay.

    All the advice above is so good and totally correct. You know it and so do I but I have found smoking has been the crutch for me over the past 12 months. In times of anger and self pitty like any drug that is where I turn.

    I too want to stop after surgery IF it is sucessful. So guess the deal might be we can support each other to give up the evil weed!

    I wish you all the best for the surgery. I hope your "escape" from smoking is sucessful.

    Maxine :)))
  • Wildfire,

    I've been smoking since I was 13...I'm now 45 female. I was asked by my Neuro to please stop smoking before surgery and after. I cut back tremendously the week before surgery...I used my surgery to quit. I was a 3/4 to a pack a day smoker I've not had a smoke since November 2nd at 2:30pm. Weight gain is just a part of quitting for most people...atleast until they/we can get a handle on food and exercise...add surgery to the mix and it is a challenge. After not having smoked for 17 days, i broke down and lit one up...It was horrible, I took two drags and put it out....that was it. I should start my count all over, but I'm not going to beat myself up...just admit I had a slip and move on. I ordered some Electronic Cigarettes...I got the blu cigs. 0mg of nic. I just figure that the nicotine is out of my system although i do have the cravings. Anyway, this little device rocks. Do a search if you think this is something you might be interested in. I found a great forum at ecf.com
  • Sadly, I still smoke (48+ YO female) and have had 5 nerve related surgeries with no problems noted. My latest fusion is a mess, but 3 doctors (of course not my NS) feel it failed due to the different hardware used in my neck (see avatar). My back is going, and for me, if surgery becomes an option, I will quit (I hope) at that point.

    Lyrica: It caused me to gain 45+ pounds in less than 3 months, plus maybe 10 or so for inactivity after my last surgery! For most of my adult life, I never was over 118! I've gone from 178 down to 153 and still sneaking it off. The funny thing? Lyrica for me, did NOT increase my appetite, but my metabolism slowed measurably. I figure I gained it sort of slow, and will lose it slow - no yo-yo or fad diets for me. I eat a more balance diet, and now swim and use a stationary bike and until my back started herniating, worked on my stair master - hurts too much to use now. I'm also waiting on blood work to rule in/out hormones and or thyroid issues....

    I wish you all the luck in your goals. We're here for ya!! :)

    PS.. I didn't comment on the reasons to quit smoking or drop weight, as it was covered excellently already.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
Sign In or Register to comment.