Quit Smoking: Weight-Loss Surgery Prep
It’s always a smart idea to quit smoking. If you’re thinking about having weight-loss surgery to improve your health, you’ll need to quit smoking weeks before your surgery date.
Smoking harms nearly every organ inside your body, according to the National Institutes of Health. When you have surgery, smoking increases your risk for surgical complications.
That’s because nicotine makes it harder for your body to heal. It causes your blood vessels to tighten. As a result, fewer nutrients travel to your tissues through the blood stream. Slower healing, in turn, increases the risk of infection after surgery.
It’s not to quit smoking. If you’ve smoked for a long time, chances are you know how difficult it can be. Here’s the good news. The more you try to quit, the more likely you are to succeed.
The first thing you’ll need to do is set a date to quit. Health experts recommend giving yourself two weeks so you can prepare. Getting prepared to quit greatly boosts your chances of kicking the habit for good.
Tips to quit smoking before weight-loss surgery
The website smokefree.gov has an online tool that allows you to create a quit plan.
It involves listing why you want to quit and knowing which things will trigger your desire to smoke. The online plan also gives you tips on how to battle cravings:
- If you need to keep your hands and mouth busy, hold a straw and breathe through it. Or, try playing with a coin or paperclip.
- To relieve stress and calm down, practice deep breathing. Do pushups if you feel agitated and need to blow off some steam. Finding someone to talk to can also help.
- To distract yourself during a craving, try tackling a list of chores. Plan your schedule for the next day, respond to emails or run an errand.
- If you usually smoke for pleasure or to relax, try listening to music. Go to the movies with friends.
- Feeling a little anxious or irritable? Ask your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy. Patches, gum or lozenges can help ease those withdrawal symptoms.
- Make sure to get plenty of sleep.
- Exercise regularly to keep your energy level stable. Eat healthy snacks every day.
Remember, your goal is to improve your health by losing weight. Smoking at any weight is bad for your health. It’s a habit you’ll want to quit for good.
+ Learn more about the surgical procedures at Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center by watching our online seminars.