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

Exact Answer: Never (Ideally)

Sleeve surgery, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, involves removing eighty percent of a person’s stomach. This surgical procedure reduces the size of the stomach and induces weight loss by restricting food intake.

By altering the anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract, sleeve gastrectomy changes signals in the body resulting in decreased hunger and increased feelings of fullness after meals which results in the weight loss process.

The surgery involves small incisions on the abdomen region, through which surgical instruments enter the abdominal cavity. The surgeon may employ the use of general anesthesia. Now, the surgeon divides the stomach into two unequal parts. The surgeon now removes the larger part of the two and the smaller part, which is the size of a banana, functions as the new stomach.

The surgery in itself is minimally invasive, and therefore recovery is quick. Proper precautions need to be employed to avoid any complications.

How Long After Sleeve Surgery Can I Smoke?

Avoid Smoking Time
Before Surgery 6 Weeks 
After Surgery Never (Ideally)

Patients who undergo sleeve surgery are the ones who are fighting prolonged obesity and its ill effects that include the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. Smoking after sleeve surgery may itself cause very few ill effects, but it generally increases the risk of diabetes and heart diseases.

It is advisable for the patients to stop smoking for at least six weeks before their sleeve surgery for surgical safety and to avoid complications. After the surgery, a patient should quit smoking altogether as it hinders the outcomes of the surgery. Sleeve surgery along with healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes are the only way to curb the pre-surgery conditions.

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There are several complications associated with smoking post-surgery. The tobacco itself contains around 5000 chemicals, among which are nicotine and heavy metals. The interaction of these chemicals with the human body immediately after surgery doesn’t produce good results. In the long term, these interactions contradict the very need for this surgery.

Patients undergoing the surgery must be determined about their weight loss journey. The surgery is a major one and for it to be successful requires strong willpower to follow a healthy lifestyle and diet. Quitting smoking can be a difficult task, but the complications it prevents and the benefits it reaps are numerous. It is a challenging task but achievable.

Why Does It Take That Long After Sleeve Surgery To Smoke?

Smoking is harmful to any individual in any condition. It leads to several health-related issues. It is advisable to avoid and quit smoking altogether.

Sleeve surgery is a procedure undertaken by several obese people to aid the weight loss surgery and minimize the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. Smoking after the surgery can lead to some complications.

It can lead to delayed wound healing due to decreased blood flow to tissue due to a small capillary opening. Since the stomach is cut into two pieces in the surgery and then stapled, there might be chances of leakage of gastric juices. This leakage doubles in the case of a smoker. Hence, wound healing is essential after the surgery.

Pulmonary issues are a common thing with smokers. These problems intensify with obese people. They tend to have weak respiratory systems due to lack of exercise and excess weight. Quitting smoking before and after the surgery helps a lot.

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Blood clots are common with sleeve surgery patients due to reduced blood circulation, obesity, and low physical activity levels. Smoking acts as an adjuvant in the blood clot formation process. In case of clot formation, the doctor prescribes a blood-thinning medicine which has its disadvantages.

Stomach ulcers are also common among smokers. After the surgery, the stomach is now of reduced size which has to carry out all the digestion processes. This leads to delayed healing of these ulcers and constant pain in the stomach.

Conclusion

Smoking after sleeve surgery can lead to several complications such as delayed wound healings, pulmonary complications, blood clots, and stomach ulcers. Some of these conditions, if worsened, can prove to be fatal. Following a precautionary approach is advisable. 

Quitting smoking is the best course of action post sleeve surgery. The interaction of harmful chemicals with the body leads to several complications. It contradicts the need for the surgery. It can be tough to quit smoking, but it is a small price to pay for better health. The benefits it reaps, in the long run, are numerous and can very well contribute to extending the lifespan of patients with severe obesity and other weight-related problems.

References 

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1550728917301144
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11695-018-3217-9
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