Stop before your op

Did you know if you are waiting for an operation then it’s very important that you stop smoking as soon as possible. Smoking greatly increases your risk of complications during and after surgery.

It is recommended that you stop at least 8 weeks prior to surgery. The sooner you stop before your op, the better. Coming in to hospital provides an excellent motivational opportunity to give up smoking.

Smoking increases the risk of anaesthesia complications.

If you smoke 10 cigarettes a day you have six times more risk of post-operative breathing problems. This risk increases further the more you smoke and the longer you have smoked.

Smokers need more anaesthesia for all types of surgery than non- smokers. Smokers have a higher chance of chest infections after surgery. Smokers spend longer in the recovery room and need extra oxygen. Smokers have slower wound healing – smokers have less oxygen to help healing

nicotine causes other problems for healing – it damages the production of red blood cells that carry essential healing chemicals to the scar tissue and it makes blood platelets ‘sticky’ which can lead to lots of small blood clots at the site of the wound, reducing the blood flow to the area and slowing the healing process.

Stopping smoking is the single greatest thing that anyone can do to improve their health and the health of those around them. The benefits of stopping smoking begin within 20 minutes of quitting, where your blood pressure and pulse return to normal, to 10 years after quitting when your risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker and your risk of heart attack is at the same level as a lifelong non-smoker.

Help is available

The Northern Health & Social Care Trust (NHSCT) has a Stop Smoking Service which can support any smokers wanting help to quit smoking.

Support may be offered on a one-one, group or telephone basis. Support services are tailored to suit each individual smoker. By getting specialist support plus using pharmacotherapies smokers are up to 10 times more likely to be successful in quitting than going it alone.

NHSCT Trust Smoking Cessation Specialists may be contacted via email or telephone –

sonia.shirlow@northerntrust.hscni.net Tel: 07827334605

kate.mcdermott@northerntrust.hscni.net Tel: 02825636600

annette.barclay@northerntrust.hscni.net

patricia.mcallister@northerntrust.hscni.net Tel: 028 94424511

Other means of Stop Smoking Support include many local GPs, Practice Nurses and Pharmacies where smokers may get specialist support and advice on pharmacotherapies.