Why should you quit smoking before gastric bypass surgery, is a question that every smoker aspiring to lose weight wants an answer to.
But first you need to understand what gastric bypass surgery stands for.
Also known as bariatric surgical procedure, this is an operation that tends to alter the existing digestive system. The alteration is not major yet, it helps the concerned user to lose extra body fat.
Nonetheless, if the concerned individual opting for gastric bypass surgery is a smoker, should he quit smoking before the surgery? The answer to this question is a definite ‘yes’.
Nonetheless, there are a few facts that you need to get clarified before thinking of quitting cigarettes (either permanently or temporarily). These facts shall allow you to comprehend the real reason why you should quit smoking.
So, here goes:
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Why should You Quit Smoking before Gastric Bypass Surgery Article Contents:
1) What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
2) What are the Three Different Types of Gastric Bypass Surgeries?
3) How does Smoking Affect Bariatric Surgery?
4) How Long do You have to Stop Smoking before undergoing Bariatric Surgery?
5) Will My Surgery be Cancelled if I Smoke before the Operation?
6) Are there any Risks Attached to Smokers Undergoing Gastric Bypass Surgery?
7) What are the Top 5 Complications that Smokers Undergoing Bariatric Surgery may Suffer from?
8) Conclusive Analysis
What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Popularly known as bariatric surgical procedure, gastric bypass surgery is a process that helps eliminate the extra body fat content in a human being. The idea behind this surgery is to allow the patient to avoid further health complications arising from extra body fat.
So, you tend to lose unwanted fat via a surgery that aims at changing your digestive system. The end result is a restricted diet and the body’s ability to absorb lesser nutrients from the food you consume.
You need to opt for the Bariatric surgical procedure only when you failed to lose weight using natural channels. These include regular exercise sessions as well as diet plans. Post the surgical procedure, you need to be really watchful of how to lead your life.
Simply put, you need to watch your diet. You also need to indulge in regular workout sessions. These precautions need to be followed-up post the surgical procedure has been completed. The surgeon shall advise you of the same.
Why is a Gastric Bypass Surgery Performed?
@ Bariatric surgery is primarily a procedure that aims at reducing your existing body fat percentage.
@ When your weight is kept under control, it reduces your risk of contracting cardiac related ailments.
@ Gastric bypass surgery tends to maintain optimal blood pressure levels in your body.
@ This surgery is performed to help you recover from hepatitis of the liver. The variant of liver disease is one that is not caused by consuming alcohol.
@ If you suffer from diabetes then again, gastric bypass surgery is a great way to control this disease.
@ A fatty liver is also saved from complete malfunction when you opt for Bariatric surgery.
@ If you suffer from snoring while sleeping then again, this surgery shall help eliminate the issue (hopefully permanently).
What are the Three Different Types of Gastric Bypass Surgeries?
There are primarily three types of gastric bypass surgeries. Each of these is performed by a surgeon based on the specific requirements of the concerned patient.
Simply put, the surgeon determines which of these surgical procedures is best suited for the patient.
Here is a quick look at each of these in brief:
The Common Surgical Procedure:
In this process, the surgeon reduces the size of the sack that holds food. By dissecting and then sealing it (the area of the stomach that stores the food you eat) before connecting it with the small intestines (the middle portion), the food intake is automatically reduced.
Usually, doctors reduce the size of the stomach to that of a lemon. So, you can hold not more than 28 grams of food. When the food bypasses the initial section of the small intestines and enters the latter half instead, the absorption of nutrients (derived from the food stored in your stomach) is automatically reduced.
Basically, the middle portion of the small intestines is directly connected to the shrunken food pouch. The end result is less food intake and low nutrient absorption. So, weight loss is inevitable.
Surgery to Reduce the Stomach to 20%:
The second type of gastric bypass surgery involves leaving just 20% of your stomach intact while removing the rest. Over here, the stomach is reduced to a hollow tube.
The good part of this surgical procedure is that the intestines are not touched. The food sack is so small that it just cannot hold enough food. In fact, you can easily hope to reduce your daily food consumption by almost 70% without making any extra effort.
This procedure is also termed as sleeve gastrectomy. It is simpler than the first surgical procedure. The healing is also speedier.
Gastric Bypass via the Duodenal Connection:
The third and final gastric bypass surgical operation involves connecting a reduced stomach (by up to 80% of the original size) and then connecting it to the end of the small intestines (via the duodenal).
This is similar to the gastric sleeve surgery (the only exception being the duodenal connectivity). When the reduced stomach pouch is connected with the tail of the small intestines then, the absorption of nutrients is automatically reduced.
You therefore lose the extra body fat at a rapid pace. Besides, the reduced stomach sack compels you to eat less food. So, you lose weight rapidly. The patient needs time to recover.
How does Smoking Affect Bariatric Surgery?
With more than 6900 chemicals present in a single cigarette, the damage that it does to your body is immense. Of these, over 69 have been identified as carcinogens (cancer causing in nature).
So, smoking a cigarette before undergoing a gastric bypass surgery to reduce your body weight should be the last thing on your mind. When you smoke cigarettes on a regular basis, diseases such as cancer, throat/lung infection, heart problems, high blood pressure and respiratory tract infection, are common.
In simple words, when you smoke cigarettes, you are four times more liable to experience health complications (during and after a gastric bypass surgery) as compared to a normal human being.
The Risk Involved for Smokers:
By far, the biggest risk that smokers, who are undergoing gastric bypass surgery is bleeding to their death on the operation table. This happens owing to the toxic chemicals present in cigarettes that tend to jeopardize your digestive tract.
Owing to the harsh chemicals present in the smoke, your digestive tract tends to develop ulcers. It is also possible that your abdominal sack may have perforations owing to the toxic smoke emitted from cigarettes.
Ironically, these chemicals can also obstruct the normal blood/oxygen flow in your digestive tract.
Tip: When any of the above things happens while the surgery is in process then, you can bleed to your death. So, stop smoking!
Why does Smoking a Cigarette Cause Trouble while You are undergoing a Bariatric Surgery?
>>> When you smoke a cigarette prior to your surgery then, the toxins present in the cigarette smoke damage your blood vessels.
>>> The most common and obvious side effect of the same is constriction (narrowing) of the blood vessels.
>>> When the normal blood flow is restricted then, complications occur in the vital organs of the body.
>>> The flow of blood to the abdominal cavity is reduced dramatically. Without adequate blood flow, the abdominal pouch cannot function optimally.
>>> Without adequate blood supply, the digestive juices present within the stomach cavity cannot function optimally.
>>> The red blood cells present within a smoker’s body are unable to carry oxygen to the abdominal area. The end result is catastrophic in nature.
>>> During Bariatric Surgery, patients who smoke cigarettes have been known to develop blood clots. These can prove to be fatal.
>>> Even when you smoke after the surgery (which apparently has been a successful affair), you may succumb owing to the high levels of carbon monoxide in them. This chemical restricts normal oxygen supply within the body.
How Long do You have to Stop Smoking before undergoing Bariatric Surgery?
Smoking a cigarette is not advisable. This advisory is graphically depicted on the packs of cigarettes. In fact, this graphic representation is applicable to all those individuals who are healthy and devoid of any prior ailments.
The main reason why you need to stop smoking cigarettes before a bariatric surgical procedure is to minimize health complications. This is with special regards to the overall healing process post the surgical procedure.
It takes double (or even more) time to heal properly if you are smoking cigarettes (post or pre) the gastric bypass procedure. So ideally, you need to quit smoking cigarettes at least 3 months before the procedure.
It is also advisable that you start smoking 2 to 3 months after the surgery is completed successfully. In case your surgical procedure is complicated then, wait for the wounds to heal completely. Infections during the surgical procedure need to be healed completely.
By far, the best way for a smoker to heal and recover from gastric bypass surgery is to quit smoking completely.
Yes! You heard it right.
It may be tough but quitting smoking permanently shall prove to be a boon for you in the years to come (post the surgery).
Will My Surgery be Cancelled if I Smoke?
You know very well that smoking cigarettes tend to damage your lungs, the wind pipe, the digestive tract and the liver. Other vital areas of the human body too are adversely affected by cigarette smoking.
Cancers of various types too are caused by cigarette smoking.
So, you need to try and avoid making use of them on a regular basis. It has also been stated that cigarette smoking can cause skin issues besides weakening your immune system.
So, the question arises- will my surgical procedure stop if I continue to smoke cigarettes?
The answer to this question is, ‘yes’. The reason behind this is the anesthesiologist. The doctor majoring in the anesthesia delivery may stop the procedure from taking place.
This is owing to the lack of oxygen and blood flow in the body. If your blood flow/oxygen supply is restricted owing to cigarette smoking, your vitals cannot function optimally.
With special regards to your lungs and heart, if your vitals stop functioning during surgery, the result could be fatal. This is why, smoking cigarettes before a surgery can get the procedure cancelled (indefinitely).
Are there any Risks Attached to Smokers Undergoing Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Bariatric Surgery is a surgical procedure that is laden with lots of risks. For a normal healthy individual too, the risks attached with this weight loss surgery are immense.
So for a smoker, these risks are simply magnified. It is therefore suggested that quitting smoking cigarettes 2 to 3 months prior to undergoing Bariatric Surgery is highly recommended.
Here are the main risks that are attached to smoking cigarettes:
>>> Smoking tends to cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This in turn may cause issues with your normal cardiac functionality.
>>> When you smoke cigarettes then, during the surgery, chances of blood clots increase. These can occur in the digestive tract thereby causing complications.
>>> Smoke tends to constrict your blood vessels. This stops the normal flow of oxygen to your body. Inadequate supply of blood during a gastric bypass surgery may lead to complications.
>>> Close to 17 million smokers globally suffer from a disease that is directly linked to smoking cigarettes.
What are the Top 5 Complications that Smokers Undergoing Bariatric Surgery may Suffer from?
Gastric bypass surgery to reduce extra body fat is not considered complex or complicated. Nonetheless, it is not at all a simple surgical procedure as well. The concerned patient needs to be a healthy individual to avoid any complications.
Here are the top 5 complications that smokers can suffer from when undergoing a gastric bypass surgery:
The Healing Process is Slowed Down Considerably:
Smokers have delicate blood vessels. This is owing to the harsh second hand smoke that is laced with harsh chemicals. The carbon monoxide content present in cigarettes tends to restrict oxygen supply.
This in turn leads to the inner lining of the blood vessels getting damaged. The end result is lack of oxygen supply in the blood vessels thereby causing complications. So, healing of wounds is delayed significantly.
Lung Related Complications:
Smokers have been known to suffer from lung infections. They have weaker lungs. Tar tends to cover the inner lining of their lungs. So, as compared to normal people with healthier lungs, smokers have weaker lungs.
Vascular occlusion is quite common in smokers. This condition tends to restrict blood flow to vital organs. During the surgery (Bariatric), if the normal blood flow is restricted then, the lung of the patient collapsing is definitely possible.
Infections in the Abdominal Area:
The offensive smoke emitting from a cigarette tends to damage the blood vessels. The end result is restricted blood flow as well as oxygen supply. When the surgical procedure is underway, blood flow and oxygen supply needs to be maintained at optimal levels.
In case there is a shortage of both then, it is quite possible that infections start to seep in. As the small intestines as well as the stomach is cut open and then stapled, these wounds need optimal oxygen and blood flow to heal.
Ulcer Formation in the Stomach:
Bariatric surgery tends to form ulcers in the stomach area. This is owing to the surgical procedure that involves slicing open the stomach and small intestines and then stapling these together.
As blood flow of a smoker is restricted, these ulcers do not heal. When these ulcers are left untreated, they can cause severe complications.
Blood Clots that Travel to Vital Organs:
The complications resulting in a surgical procedure arising from a gastric bypass to smokers are 4 times more than non-smokers. One such health concern is blood clot formation.
The reason behind these clots is lack of blood flow in the veins and arteries. The chemicals present in cigarettes force the blood vessels to deteriorate.
So, post the Bariatric surgery, if the blood flow is restricted then, these clots can shift their original base. They can enter your lungs. In certain rare cases, they also travel to your heart. The end result is chronic health complications (even fatalities).
Bariatric surgery in itself is not an easy operation. I (LeanAndFit review staff) feel Several health risks (with special regards to the post-operative care) make this surgical procedure complicated. While it does help you lose extra pounds of body fat easily, to make this operation a success, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The question, ‘why should you quit smoking before gastric bypass surgery’ has already been answered. Nonetheless, you do need to understand that quitting smoking after undergoing a gastric bypass procedure is equally important.
If you manage to stop smoking cigarettes post the operative procedure (Bariatric surgery) then, you can easily hope to prolong your life-span by at least 10 years. If you start smoking again then, you reduce your existing life-span by as much as 15 years.
So, if you want to lose weight, lead a healthy life and live longer (post undergoing a successful bariatric surgery) then, you need to stop smoking cigarettes permanently.