The ideal scenario would be if a patient does not smoke at all as is proven that there is less oxygenation to the skin in people who smoke that makes recovery slower. The best recommendation would be to cut down as much as possible before and after the surgery. Even if the patient quits for at least three days before surgery, it would definitely help in getting rid of the carbon monoxide present in your blood.
There are two consequences for the cardiovascular system from smoking that concerns surgeons and anesthesiologists:
Smoking increases the concentration of higher carbon monoxide levels in the blood. This has the effect of decreasing oxygen supply. Carbon monoxide also decreases the heart’s pump and also reduces the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the body.
Nicotine increases body’s oxygen demand. So, oxygen supply is compromised as more oxygen is being utilized.
Smoking may also cause other kinds of problems:
- Patient is more likely infection in the wound
- Smoking can cause formation of blood clots near the wound
- It can also make the stitches to come apart. This could lead to heavy scarring
- Smoking also deposits mucus in the lungs. This leads to frequent colds and even pneumonia
- It reduces the Vitamin C levels in the body, which is essential for wound healing
- For those reasons the patient may undergo a longer and more expensive stay in the hospital or experience expensive prolonged post surgical treatment
- It increases people’s heart rate 10 to 20 beats/minute meaning that the heart is works harder and requires more oxygen and nutrients.
- Increases blood pressure 5 to 10 mm Hg.
- Increases blood’s sugar level. This higher level causes the red blood cells to become “sticky”. When this happens, they may stick together and then be unable to travel through the smallest vessels that are called capillaries. Tissue nourished by these vessels will not receive all the blood flow they require.
- Increases the chance for platelets to clump together. This can result in blood clots that cause strokes, heart attacks or damage to other tissues.