Quitting cigarettes before surgery can make big difference, study says

KYW Staff
February 03, 2020 - 3:05 pm
A person smoking a cigarette.

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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There is another good reason to quit smoking: If you are going to have a surgical procedure, kicking the habit can make a big difference. 

New data shows that after four weeks, every tobacco-free week improves blood flow throughout the body to essential organs and improves health outcomes after surgery by almost 20%.

In fact, the report provides evidence that there are advantages to postponing minor or non-emergency surgery to give patients the opportunity to quit smoking, resulting in a better health outcome.

The nicotine and carbon monoxide present in cigarettes can decrease oxygen levels and greatly increase the risk of heart-related complications after surgery.