Does smoking have an impact on anaesthesia?
Smoking not only has harmful effects on general health but can also increase the risk when having anaesthesia and surgery. We know smoking is associated with heart disease, peripheral vascular (blood vessel) disease and multiple types of cancer, including lung, throat, and oesophagus (food tube) and bladder cancer. It can also cause emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
There is increased risk of heart attack or stroke because nicotine increases the heart rate, heart pumping, blood pressure, and blood vessel narrowing. Some of these adverse effects may improve after just 12 to 24 hours of abstinence.
Smokers can get low oxygen levels which can be life threatening. This improves one month after smoking is stopped with further improvements up to six months.
Evidence shows that kids having anaesthesia that are exposed to passive smoking are at risk of chest infections and other complications
Wound healing is worse in smokers, particularly following plastic and reconstructive surgery, bone surgery, bowel surgery and microsurgery.
Ideally you should consider quitting entirely, but stopping for as long as possible before your surgery helps, especially for at least 12hrs prior.
Speak to your GP, Surgeon or Anaesthetist for options to help abstain from smoking.