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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26383
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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i have seen a few doctors for my foot problem. they all say

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i have seen a few doctors for my foot problem. they all say that in need a couple joints fused in my foot. first 2 said i have to quit chewing snuff before they will do the surgery because the fusion may not work because of the nicotene. the 3rd dr will do the surgery and said that the tobacco will not keep the bones from fusing. i am confused in who to believe i want the surgery to help my pain and cannot stop the tobacco.

Well, the first two are really correct in saying that if you continue the snuff you could risk the fused bones not healing properly although that isn't the case with everyone. You could try Chantix which is fairly effective in getting people off nicotine.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

can you tell me how much of a risk it is percentage wise? do most patients who use tobacco heal ok most of the time? or is it a huge risk to have the surgery while using tobacco? thank you very much

There's about a 40% incidence of some problem with fusion in nicotine users, so the risk is not a small one.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the dr that said he will do the surgery and it is not a risk, why would he say that? is he confident in his ability to overcome risks or should i just not have him do the surgery? sorry for so many follow up questions this is last one

No problem with the questions, but I can't speak to the one doctor's confidence about this. Granted, supplemental calcium and vitamin D before and after the surgery could work towards helping the fusion healing and preventing nonfusion, but there still is definitely a risk that I, personally, would like to avoid with my patients by getting them off the nicotine if at all possible. If this is not urgent surgery, you should try the Chantix and perhaps joint a group therapy session for smokers (even though you don't smoke) in an effort to get off the nictotine before the surgery.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

how long does it take after i have stopped using before it is not a risk? i am going to try the chantix. thank you for answering all the questions.

It would be best to be nicotine free for at least one month. Hope you're successful and let me know how you do with that.
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