How Long After Hernia Surgery Can I Smoke (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Wait for at least a month 

A hernia is the abnormal exit of a tissue or an organ. It lies in the wall of the cavity. There are a number of types of hernia. The hernia usually occurs in the stomach or the intestine. The risk for the development of hernia is greater for the people that smoke. The effect of nicotine, a drug used in cigarettes, causes weakness of the abdominal wall. People who smoke are at greater risk of getting a hernia even after surgery if smoking continues. Smoking is a major risk factor of hernia because of a “defective connective tissue metabolism” if you’re getting surgery, talk to your health care provider about smoking routine to let them guide you into it.  

How Long After Hernia Surgery Can I Smoke? 

A wide range of studies proves that smokers are at a greater risk of contracting post-surgery complications than non-smokers. Doctors look at surgery as the best time for patients to decide on quitting smoking. So, the real answer to when you can resume smoking after surgery is, never! People who still smoke after hernia surgery pose a greater risk of contracting recurrent hernia than people that have quit smoking altogether.  

Time Period When can you Smoke? 
Before Surgery 2 weeks 
After Surgery 4 weeks 

If staying away from smoking feels impossible, try to stay away from it at least for 12 hours before the surgery. Just like there are guidelines for you to follow after surgery related to tobacco, there are a lot of others to follow after one. Doctors say that those who quit smoking before a month of surgery were better healed and showed a significantly better life after 6 months. 

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 Doctors suggest you quit smoking way before you get your surgery because it takes time for the lungs to heal and for your immune system to start working naturally and for better. It is important to go in for surgery with an immune system that can help you the best in recovering.  

In any case, it is for the best that you stay away from smoking, a month before and after smoking. 

Why Does it Take So Long to Smoke After Hernia Surgery?  

Doctors ask you not to smoke, especially after hernia surgery, because smoking will bring down your blood flow, which will disrupt the healing process. Your hernia and the infections that might be caused later as a result of the surgery, will not be cured properly. Smoking can bring bad consequences to your hernia surgery. If you are someone that finds it hard to stay away from or quit smoking, try and keep away from it for a month before or a month after. You do not have to get upset if you miss the one-month mark, any time before surgery is the ideal time to stop smoking. Smoking usually leads to developing weak muscle walls in the body, which will cause your hernia to reoccur, leaving no meaning to the surgery.  

Smoking decreases the oxygen supply that flows to our bodies. Carbon monoxide increases in the body and as a result, there are not many nutrients and your immune system will largely be affected. To put it in short, your body will not be ready and strong for surgery. If you do not quit smoking at least a month before surgery, surgical wounds will take a longer time to heal.  

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Surgery might cause a lot of infections after some time, even if not immediately. If you continue smoking, healing might become almost impossible because your immune system will not be at its best. The level of resistance to these infections from these infections will be very low.   

Conclusion 

If you address your smoking issue to your doctor, they will help you or provide means that will help you get over smoking such as, learning self-control or helping you to stay away from places where smokers smoke because second-hand smoking is way far dangerous. This article is not about the ill effects of smoking and how quitting smoking can change your life but for surgery to become successful, you need to stay away from it as smoking can cause harm to your immune system which in turn will not heal your wounds or your body from the surgery.  

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002961017311625
  2. https://academic.oup.com/bja/article/102/3/297/246358?login=true
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