Hello. My name is Dr. Dan Albright. I’m an
orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’d like to talk to you about why
smoking tobacco is bad for you and how it affects, negatively, your surgery. It is
pretty much obvious that we all know smoking is bad for you. It gives you cancer. And I am amazed how many patients of mine don’t really recognize that. Smoking does give you cancer, lung cancer, but it
also affects badly, your heart, heart disease, your brain, your kidneys, but I’m an orthopedic surgeon, so I’m doing muscle and skeletal bone surgery, bone and joint surgery so why do I care? Well, one, I care about your health. But number two, it affects my surgery.
Nicotine constricts blood flow and when my patients walk in the office I can
just tell from their skin. Nicotine cuts down the blood to your skin and people look gray. Your skin looks unhealthy and I am immediately thinking, oh their skin is not going to heal very well when I do surgery. And when I’m doing surgery on a smoker the bleeding is less. Nicotine
constricts blood flow so patients don’t bleed as well in surgery and that means they
don’t heal as well after surgery that means they can get more infections. So smoking is a big deal for us with surgery. And sometimes we won’t do surgery if people keep smoking. Particularly with the spine fusion. It’s been proven that nicotine hurts fusions. So
you don’t fuse your back as well or your neck when you have spine surgery if you are smoking. There are surgeons who won’t operate on smokers for that reason. I just wanted to get out into the open that the many effects of smoking are just hurting you and particularly for us as surgeons we know our smokers are going to heal slower and have more risks for surgery. So stopping smoking at least a month
before surgery will help you heal quicker. You will heal quicker and you’ll heal better. Guaranteed. Have a safer surgery if you
stop smoking. So the sooner you get the nicotine out of your body, the better. I’m happy to talk to you more about
other aspects of this. I’m Dr. Dan Albright at the Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina. My website danalbrightmd.com and then the appointment line 919-863-6808. I’d be happy to talk to you about any aspect of this in my office. Thanks.