Smokers Advised to Stop Even Just Before Surgery

Quitting smoking in the eight weeks before surgery does not increase post-op complications

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- There is no evidence to suggest that quitting smoking within eight weeks prior to surgery increases postoperative complications, according to a meta-analysis published online March 14 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Katie Myers, C.Psychol., from the Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues examined nine studies comparing postoperative complications in surgical patients who quit smoking within eight weeks prior to surgery to those who continued to smoke, to provide an evidence-based recommendation for health professionals. Three separate meta-analyses were conducted: for all available studies, three studies with validated self-reported abstinence and low risk of bias to evaluate possible benefits, and four studies focusing on pulmonary complications and their results pooled to evaluate possible risks.

The investigators found that none of the studies reported detrimental effects caused by quitting smoking any time before surgery, and one study reported a beneficial effect of recent quitting over continued smoking. Quitting smoking within eight weeks before surgery was not associated with any increase or decrease in overall postoperative complications in any of the three meta-analysis groups.

"There is currently no suggestion, either from any single study or from combinations of studies, that quitting smoking shortly before surgery increases postoperative complications," the authors write.

Two of the study authors disclosed financial relationships with several pharmaceutical companies.

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Physician's Briefing

Updated on June 06, 2022

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