We are constantly hearing that smoking is bad for us from our doctors, family, friends, etc., but today we wanted to address smoking and the healing process. Our patients are continually asking us how to speed up their recovery process. One of the things that unquestionably limits our patients’ recovery is smoking. Oxygen is paramount to your healing process and smoking deprives your body of the oxygen it needs to repair itself. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons posted this article which reviews numerous research studies that smoking can threaten your surgical outcomes.
Oxygen is critical to your body’s recovery on the cellular level–depriving your body of oxygen can not only delay your healing but can also produce poorer outcomes. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels which impedes blood flow. Slower blood flow means the surgical wound is healing slower and, the slower the wound takes to heal, the higher chance of an infection.
If you are planning to have surgery in the near future, we recommend you quit smoking or at least smoke less. This will not only make you healthier in the long run, but it can allow your body to heal more efficiently and get you back to your normal activities sooner. Planning to have surgery and have questions? Contact LB Hand Therapy today to discuss your questions with one of our therapists!
For more information on smoking cessation, check out the CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/