Smoking can have serious consequences for patients who are having surgery. Smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco before having surgery will mean that you will have a longer stay in hospital after your operation. If you stop, you will be able to go home sooner.
At Leeds Teaching Hospitals we know that our patients who smoke need to stay overnight in hospital at least 1 day longer compared to ex-smokers.
You should aim to stop smoking as soon as you can before your operation. This will help to prevent delayed wound healing, wound infection and chest infections (pneumonia). If you need help to stop smoking, please speak to your GP or use the links on this page to find local support services.
If you are having surgery that includes adding metal into your body, smoking increases the risk of this not working, and you may need another operation to fix this. Smoking also increases your chance of having a chest infection after your operation by 50%, so it’s really important to try and stop to help recovery more quickly.
We’ve mentioned the breathing exercises you can do to prepare your lungs for general anaesthetic but if you smoke you’ll find these much harder to do. Stopping smoking will bring immediate benefits to your health, including if you already have a smoking-related disease.
- Quit Smoking (NHS) - information from the NHS to help you quit smoking for better health
- NHS Smokefree app - this free app allows you to track your progress, see how much you're saving and get daily support
The team at Leeds Stop Smoking Services can help you to stop smoking, with free one to one or group support from a health and wellbeing coach. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or Prescription Only Medication is also available for free to help you to stop smoking for good.