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Smoking and Surgery

There have been studies showing significant differences in infection rates between smokers and non-smokers. While reducing smoking certainly makes your anaesthetic safer, it is important to quit smoking completely in order to reduce the potential complications at surgery.

This is particularly true of wound infections and pressure sores. The optimum period of stopping smoking is probably at least six weeks and may be related to the toxic combustion by-products of smoking. While nicotine is sometimes blamed for this, nicotine replacements such as patches, do not seem to increase infection rates in joint replacement surgery.

We strongly recommend that smoking is stopped completely six weeks prior to considering any elective surgical procedures.

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