1. Quit Smoking
The MMC Weight & Wellness Program wants to produce the best surgical outcomes for all patients having bariatric surgery at our hospital. For this reason, all patients must be tobacco free (cigarette/pipe smoking or chewing) for at least 3 months prior to the first bariatric team appointment.
We require a nicotine level (blood or urine) to be performed by your primary care physician once you have quit smoking. Once we receive this report from your doctor you can proceed with the program.
Your primary care physician can provide you with prescriptions for nicotine patches or offer you assistance in quitting smoking.
Why do I have to quit smoking?
The chemicals in cigarette and pipe smoke irritate the lining of the lungs. This causes thick, liquid secretions to form and slows the lungs' ability to clear out those secretions.
Obesity limits a person's ability to breathe deeply and cough effectively. Pain after surgery and the pain killers we give also limit a patient's ability to clear these secretions. As a result, the secretions build up in the lungs during the first few days after surgery. This can cause fever and greatly increase the risk of pneumonia, a serious complication after this operation.
Nicotine of any sort (smoked or chewed) damages the lining of blood vessels and also causes them to narrow. This narrowing can prevent enough blood from reaching the areas where the surgeon operated on your stomach. If this blood supply is damaged there is a higher chance of having problems such as a leaking at the connection site.
The poor blood supply can also cause ulcers to form after surgery in patients who have started smoking again. These ulcers can burrow all the way through the intestine and cause serious problems.
Return to Top