Snuff out that cigarette if you want to heal faster

Cigarette smoking causes a variety of health problems, from heart disease to cancer. It also affects the ability of the body to heal following surgery, said Dr. Rod Rohrich, chairman of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. ‘The reduced capacity for wound healing especially becomes a concern with elective surgical procedures,’ Rohrich said. ‘Patients who smoke also have an increased risk of complications after surgery.’ Tobacco can interfere with the protective filtering cilia in the pulmonary system, reduce blood flow and impair the oxygen- carrying capacity of blood, slowing delivery to surgical sites and decreasing the oxygen necessary to healing. ‘Surgery candidates should abstain from smoking for four to six weeks before and after surgery,’ Rohrich said. ‘This increases the ability to recover, and will improve overall health.’

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