you are a smoker, Dr. Buchko strongly recommends you quit smoking. As you are
likely aware, smoking has many detrimental effects and harms essentially every
organ system in your body. Smoking increases your risk of cardiovascular
disease (stroke, heart attack), respiratory disease (COPD), and cancer (lung,
mouth & throat, bladder, colon, kidney & liver, etc.) to name a few.
However, this is just a small snapshot of the negative consequences of smoking.
Click here for a complete list. You can also click here for a video showing the harmful effects even one package of cigarettes has on your lungs.
Why does Dr. Buchko care? First and foremost, he is concerned about you and your overall health. Moreover, smoking also has serious implications for surgery. Compared to non-smokers, smokers have a higher chance of breathing problems after surgery (such as pneumonia), are at higher risk for having a stroke or heart attack after surgery, and are more likely to develop a post-op infection. Finally, smoking has negative effects on the musculoskeletal system. Smoking decreases blood flow and interferes with the healing process. It prolongs healing of broken bones, and delays healing of ligaments or tendons after an injury or repair/reconstruction surgery. Please click here for a pamphlet with some statistics on smoking & surgery or here to be directed to a website outlining the risks.
Dr. Buchko will not perform elective surgery on you if you are a smoker. He cannot in good conscience put you through the risks of surgery only to set you up for possible failure and adverse events. It is imperative that you cease smoking. Even if he is treating you non-operatively, you should quit smoking. It really is the best thing for your health, and will help you recover from your musculoskeletal condition more quickly. So for the sake of your health, and for the loved ones who rely on you, please quit.
Dr. Buchko realizes it is not easy. It can be extremely challenging to quit smoking. It may be the hardest thing you have faced yet. Here are some resources that may help you "kick the habit." You may also want to consult with your family physician or pharmacist for help.
Smoker's Helpline (Dr. Buchko would be happy to fax this in for you)