When you and your surgeon meet for your consultation, one of the things that will come up in determining whether surgery is right for you is whether or not you smoke. This is because smoking increases the risk of complications after major surgery, and thus might make you ineligible for a given procedure.
But all might not be lost to those who have tasted tobacco – a new study shows that the risk of complications for people who were once smokers, but have been smoke-free for at least a year, is nearly the same as a non-smoker’s.
Going cold turkey may allow you to undergo procedures you otherwise couldn’t
The study followed 125,000 current smokers, 78,000 former smokers, and 400,000 people who had never touched a cigarette, and kept track of complications in these groups, such as heart attack, pneumonia, blood clots, and death 30 days post-op. Current smokers showed a higher likelihood of fatal complications (17 per cent) than non-smokers, but those who quit a year before had about the same risk as non-smokers, according to the study’s findings. The study was limited, however, in that patients who were smoke-free for less than a year were not within its scope.
If you’re a smoker, and have considered plastic surgery before but were discouraged against it by your surgeon, this news could be just the push to help you quit. If you’re considering any kind of invasive surgery, or even non-invasive procedures like Botox, talk to your surgeon about your risk factors, and what you can do to help put out that butt forever.
- Photo Credit: No smoking by khawkins04, on Flickr