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Smoking and surgery

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,554
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Anybody have advice for a smoker that's going to have ACDF surgery? I know the best advice would be to quit, but frankly I just don't think that's going to happen, especially with the anxiety that comes with anticipating surgery. So, any advice? Experiences?

Thanks in advance. :*


  • First good luck on your surgery.
    I first thought I was going to smoke my last cig on the way into the hospy last week... wellllllll that did not happen.
    my pain levels were so over the top this past week being home, i just could not do it.
    now as of today that im feeling a bit better. me and hubby decided to go back on chantix. i was worried about the nightmares as i have horrible ones anyway. hubby only had one while on. plus the nausea and did quit. but then i stressed him to much. }:) so he started again..

    now that im feeling a quarter inch better i think its time so that i fuse properly. im not saying you won't fuse. as i fused fine with my neck in 04. complete fusion in 6 months.
    my back surgery in 07 i did not. BUT THE DR SAID " it happens he has had non smokers not fuse, the rate is the same" no it does not help as the oxygen does not get to the bone to help fusion.

    in the end its your own personal decsion. i even had a nurse who had a lumbar fusion this past year and is fusing. and she said " as long as a patient is in pain and they smoke they will continue to do so".

    so i will not tell you to stop, or tell you to keep smoking. its all up to you in the end hun..

    terri >:D<
  • You are only gonna quit smoking when you are ready to and not before. When I saw my surgeon, not once did he ask me about smoking. The nurse in his office told me it would be in my best interest if I quit during my pre-op appt. I was lucky enough to want to quit at that point, and the only reason I did was because I was ready.

    Good luck with everything.
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  • I guess I had this irrational fear that if I were to have a cig before I left for the hospital, I'd be pulled over by the police and arrested because my pre-op said not to smoke 24 hours before the surgery. image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />

    I guess I won't blow up, but I will definitely cut down before then.

    Thanks. >:D<
  • HI Cath,
    I too am a smoker, and my ns recommended I quit, and I told him I couldn't make any promises. Not only was I dealing with the stress of having surgery and being out of work, and finances, my family and I have been also dealing with the fact that our Mom is declining and we had to get hospice set up. Obviously the 2 days I was in the hospital I didn't have a cig, and told myself "gee, this would be a good time to quit". but alas it did not happen. All I can say from experience, is that you have to be ready to quit for yourself. Several years ago I quit cold turkey, but alas I "fell" of the wagon about 8 years ago. :''( I wish you the best of luck with your journey thru all of this.
  • My first,second,and third opinion Drs all said they would absolutely refuse my surgery if I smoked. So after 20 years of smoking, I quit. For me I was in so much pain after surgery that it distracted me from the urge to smoke if that makes any sense. As an exsmoker I still get urges but I know it is so much better for my over all health to not smoke. Things smell better, heck I smell better. Food tastes wonderfull and I don't get out of breath any more. I just remember how good things are now that I'm a non smoker and that helps to fight the urges.
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  • Thanks for communicating on this. Of course, I wish I didn't smoke, but I do. I'm glad I'm not alone out there and who knows? Maybe I'll be back on this forum after my surgery as a non-smoker. =P~
  • ...THANKS to those who have wished me luck. I will get through this with flying colors and will be pain-free - if not totally, then close. :D

    I hope for you all to have successful recoveries and keep on smilin'!
  • im so happy for you carr!!!!!!! =D> =D> =D> it is tuff that is for sure. and you are right you do smell better. darn i can smell you over here yummy =)) =)) seriously im very proud of your accomplishment. hopeing we can do the same.

    glor i can imagine the added stress of mom. THAT IS HARD. thats what happened last year with me 2 months after surgery. 2 grams dying within 2 weeks of each other. THE STRESS ~X( ~X( ~X( ~X(
    your family will be in our prayers hunny. love u!!!!! PM me anytime you want if you need a shoulder to lean on. as i have had experience working with hospice etc..

    paul also you had a good perception. that is why i mentioned that in my post. it cuts off your oxygen flow. but you put it better then me.

    yvonne your drs office sounds like mine. hey they are getting a 100 grand for this surgery. not once was i told not to , or they would not do it >:D< like some surgeons. just advised to if i could.

    cath also remember they do not like you smoking 24 hrs before surgery either. i have had my share of the OR. i will tell you i get very nausea's when i am woke up in recovery. so it does have an effect with anastheisa. they will explain that at pre op testing. but it was well controlled asap.

    take care all..
  • Thanks Terri, you smell really sweet too!!!
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