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Vickie
Vickie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
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Experience:  7 years exp. on surgical floor, plus many other areas, Emergency Medical tech, 19 yrs total medical.
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have surgery on my lower back and the surgeon has told me

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I have to have surgery on my lower back and the surgeon has told me that because I smoke the fusion may not take. How long do you have to be smoke free for this not to be a problem. Peg
Hi Peg..
Smoking stops the healing process. The tissues needs oxygen to heal. This is why your DR wants you to stop smoking and remaing smoke free during your healing process. Being a former smoker myself, I know this may seem difficult, but it's really simple. Let me answer your quesion first. 3 weeks is a great amount of time for the harmful effects of smoking to leave your system. Your tissues will carry the proper amout of oxygen and you will have a better outcome under general anesthesia.

Quitting is something you can do. The average craving lasts 20 seconds. That's all! Also, citrus drinks tend to curb cravings. What also helped me was remembering that the tip of a cigarette is 2000 degrees. I don't want something that hot near my lips. There are various support sites and info on stopping smoking on the net. If you can do it for 3 weeks, you can do it forever! Hope this helps :)
Delores Casso, Paramedic (EMT)
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Experience: Paramedic, Family Practice, OB, GYN, Internal Med. ER
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 Dear Peg,


I have had a fusion also. My neurologist told me that he would not do my surgery until I had been smoke-free for at least a month. Delores is right, smoking does affect the healing of bone tissue due to reduced oxygen levels. It also makes your anesthesiologist feel lots better about putting you under for the surgery, It helps to keep secretions down coming from your lungs and bronchial tubes and reduces the chances of developing pneumonia after your surgery. Healing from a fusion is long and painful enough without having to worry about your recovery being lengthened by the effects of smoking. It was a very hard thing for me to do, because I have smoked for several years...and I have to admit that I cheated occasionally...but let me tell ya, this is something that you definitely want to heal and heal well if you know what I mean.


Good Luck!

Vickie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 85
Experience: 7 years exp. on surgical floor, plus many other areas, Emergency Medical tech, 19 yrs total medical.
Vickie and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Vickie's Post: Vickie,
You were very helpful, and nice to hear from someone that had surgery too. Your right I don't want my recovery to be any longer than is has to be. Thank you very much.
Peg

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