Stop Smoking and Heal

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Jun 1, 2012

Most people know smoking is harmful in many ways.  Did you know smoking can directly impact your ability to heal after surgery?

Smoking can impair the healing process after surgery because of decreased oxygen being delivered to tissues.  In part, this is because the carbon monoxide from the smoke attaches to the red blood cells and displaces the oxygen.  Also, other chemicals in the tobacco interfere with various cell types involved in the healing process.  Patients who smoke often have complications such as infections and the inability of the skin to heal appropriately around a surgical wound.  Smoking can also negatively impact bone healing after a fracture or a dental surgery.

Any kind of surgery comes with risks.  You can reduce one risk factor if you stop smoking prior to your surgery, and the longer you stop smoking before surgery the better you will heal.