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Top Reasons to Quit Tobacco Before Bariatric Surgery

Posted: August 22, 2018

quit tobacco, quit smoking, weight-loss surgeryBefore you have any kind of surgery, your doctor will tell you it’s time to quit tobacco and stop smoking. Most people are aware of the health risks linked to using tobacco products such as cigarettes. Still, many people find it hard to quit tobacco and give up smoking.

If you’re thinking about having weight-loss surgery, make plans now to quit tobacco and give up smoking for good. Smoking increases your risk of problems during and after your operation, according to the American College of Surgeons. Here’s the good news: Quitting four to six weeks before your operation and staying smoke-free four weeks after can decrease your rate of wound complications by 50 percent. Those who quit for good will add years to their life.

Health studies show that smoking harms every organ in the body. It delays healing by decreasing the blood supply to your body’s tissues. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, smoking has also been linked to:

  • Blood clots
  • Marginal ulcers after gastric bypass
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary (lung) disease
  • Increased risk for hip fracture
  • Cataracts
  • Cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx (voice box), stomach, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidney

If you’ve tried to quit tobacco before, do not feel discouraged. It takes several attempts for most people to kick the habit for good. It’s important to note that since 2002, there are more former smokers than current smokers in the United States. Millions of people have quit smoking for good.

There are many strategies to quit smoking. Some people are able to quit on their own. Others have found that using medication helps. Health authorities recommend you pick a specific day to quit smoking. Remove all cigarettes and tobacco products from your home, car and office. Throw away ashtrays and avoid places were people are smoking. It also helps to avoid drinking any alcohol, which can make your cravings worse.

For more information about quitting smoking, visit smokefree.gov.

Learn more about how to prepare for weight loss surgery at Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center.

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