Can I Smoke Before and After Gastric Sleeve?
Being overweight can impact self-esteem, health, and overall quality of life. For those who struggle with their weight, the gastric sleeve procedure may be able to help. A gastric sleeve reduces the size of the stomach to help patients feel full while eating less so that they are better able to achieve their weight loss and health goals.
When considering the gastric sleeve procedure, it is important to make certain lifestyle changes to give yourself the best chance of success. If you smoke, you may be wondering if you can smoke before and after gastric sleeve. The Tijuana, Mexico, surgeons of Oasis of Hope Bariatrics recommend patients stop smoking before and after the gastric sleeve procedure and would like to take this time to take a closer look at the reasons why.
Smoking Increases the Risk of Complications
It is well known that smoking is bad for general health. It increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and high blood pressure, but it can also increase the risk of complications after surgery.
This is because smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict, which restricts blood flow and also reduces the amount of oxygen red blood cells are able to carry, both of which can slow the healing process.
Smoking before and after gastric sleeve surgery is dangerous as it can increase the risk of:
- Blood clots
- Respiratory complications
- Poor wound healing
- Stomach ulcer formation
- Bleeding ulcers
- The formation of stomach perforations or holes
- Stomach obstruction or blockage
- Strictures, or a narrowing of the entrance of the stomach pouch, which can cause pain, nausea, and vomiting
How Long Do I Need to Stop Smoking?
It’s preferable that our Tijuana patients give up smoking for good but those who aren’t ready will need to be prepared to stop smoking for some time before surgery and during recovery.
The further in advance before undergoing gastric sleeve surgery patients quit smoking the better but at the very least they should stop six weeks before surgery.
It’s also important that patients continue to refrain from smoking throughout their recovery after surgery. A full recovery can take four to six weeks. Smoking during this time can prolong recovery time and lead to complications.
Keeping these factors in mind, patients must be prepared to give up smoking for roughly 12 weeks when considering the gastric sleeve procedure.
Can I Use Nicotine Alternatives?
While nicotine patches, gums, and electronic cigarettes can help some people stop smoking, they are not recommended for use before or after gastric sleeve surgery.
Just like the nicotine in cigarettes, the nicotine in these products enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of complications. Accordingly, it’s important that all nicotine products are avoided prior to and after gastric sleeve surgery.
Learn More About Gastric Sleeve Surgery
If you are a smoker considering gastric sleeve surgery and have concerns about smoking and the gastric sleeve procedure, our Tijuana surgeons are available to answer your questions and help you achieve your health goals. To schedule a consultation, please call (619) 690-8417 today.