How Long After VSG Can You Smoke (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 Year

Smoking is not a healthy habit. When a person decides to undergo a major surgery like vertical sleeve gastrectomy, also called VSG, to make themselves healthier again, one must ensure not to indulge again in detrimental habits like smoking and must be willing to quit them for the rest of their life. Most bariatric surgeries like these require patients to stop smoking to prevent unnecessary complications during or after surgery.



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VSG is a type of bariatric surgery which helps patients suffering due to obesity and problems related to it. In this surgery, a part of the stomach is removed, leaving behind only a tube-like portion of the stomach inside, almost similar to the shape and size of a banana. This is done as it aids patients to limit their appetite and they begin to feel that their stomach is full even with less amount of food than what they used to consume before.

How Long After VSG Can You Smoke

How Long After VSG Can You Smoke?

General HealthTime
Healthy individual12 months
People with serious complications15 to 20 months

Patients are instructed to quit smoking at least six weeks before the procedure for surgical safety and to minimise any complications. Some patients may decide to begin smoking again after the surgery but are highly discouraged.

While smoking after bariatric surgery causes few ill effects as it is related specifically to the bariatric procedure, but smoking, in general, can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease- two of the very diseases that patients try to eliminate by undergoing this surgery.

That being said, if you are a smoker, you must quit smoking as that will help you get a better and healthy lifestyle and thus prevent any unfavourable effects that may affect your life after the surgery.

Why Can You Smoke So Long After VSG?

Patients undergoing weight loss surgery are recommended to practise a proper exercise routine after their surgical procedure and complete healing. It must be remembered that smoking significantly decreases the stamina of the person, leading to unproductiveness as carbon monoxide begins replacing oxygen in the body. Smoking simply makes doing exercises much harder and thus hindering your opportunity to lead a healthy and better life.

Tobacco smoke has tremendous detrimental effects on your body. It reduces the size of the blood vessels which results in decreased blood flow inside the body. At the same time, carbon monoxide present in smoke drastically diminishes the ability of red blood cells ( RBCs) to transport oxygen throughout the body. These factors ultimately result in a much slower healing process and will continue to be a major concern for the patient if he continues smoking after the surgery.

If you have made up your mind to get your life back by undergoing VSG, it’s beneficial for you to put the tobacco product away for good. Smoking will most likely cause the surgical complications to double, thereby reducing your chances to enjoy a good life.

Weight loss surgery gives obese people the power to improve their health, offering them a golden chance to drastically increase their lifespan. Smoking will put an unnecessary burden on the recovery process making the weight loss journey even harder and in the long term, shortens the patient’s life by working directly against the benefits of having the surgery.


It’s always advised to bariatric patients in their best interests to never smoke again after the surgery as it can interfere with healing. The risk factor associated with the surgery will get enhanced if you smoke after the procedure is done. One’s weight loss journey might become extremely sluggish and tough which will eventually result in a much slower recovery.

Smoking, in general, is an extremely bad habit and continuing it after a procedure like VSG might have negative effects. In the end, everything comes down to the choices you make in your life. Choose health, choose life and refrain from indulging in things that might give only ephemeral satisfaction and in turn leaves you with lifelong adverse effects.


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