Blog - Smoking before and after surgery

Smoking before and after surgery

Surgery could be the reason you’ve been looking for to quit smoking for good!  Not only does smoking contribute to the degeneration of the disc in the first place, studies have also shown that smokers have a high rate of surgical complications arising as a direct result of smoking.

In particular, smokers experience:

1. A higher rate of non-union of the spine. Also known as pseudoarthroses, this is the condition where a procedure such as spinal fusion has not achieved a solid join. One of the reasons for this is that nicotine has been shown to decrease revascularisation of the bone graft. This means that insufficient nutrients get through to the bone graft due to a lack of blood supply. As a result the bone graft does not grow and fuse as it should.

2. Higher pain levels and other poor clinical outcomes. Among other things, smoking has been shown to reduce a patient’s level of pain tolerance, increase the risk of infection and reduce the performance of some important drugs.

3. Increased risk of related illnesses. Smokers suffer a greater incidence of complicating health issues such as cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders that hinder recovery.

If you can’t quit in the months leading up to surgery, even stopping smoking for at least 12 hours leading up to the surgery will greatly reduce the risk of complications.

Our Locations

Sydney

Tel (02) 4228 0460
5 Lord Street
Roseville NSW 2069

View Map

Wollongong

Tel (02) 4228 0460
Level 5, 85 Smith Street
Wollongong NSW 2500

View Map

Bowral

Tel (02) 4228 0460
21 St Judes Street
Bowral NSW 2576

View Map

Goulburn

Tel (02) 4228 0460
5 Fenwick Crescent
Goulburn NSW 2580

View Map

Recent Blog Posts

Health Insurance Changes - Spinal Surgery

Health Insurance Changes - Spinal Surgery

From 1 April 2019 all Australian health funds will be changing their way of categorising their cover to make it easier for patients to compare the different funds.

Read more

Spinal Surgery - Managing Pain vs Managing Expectations

Spinal Surgery - Managing Pain vs Managing Expectations

Sometimes the biggest challenge for a spinal surgeon is not the actual surgery but the patient's expectations.

Read more

2018 - What a Year!

2018 - What a Year!

Well, what a year it's been!  Possibly the most challenging our little practice has seen to date!  We had our fearless leader fall ill at the start of the year which was scary for all of us.  Of course, you can't keep Dr Moloney down for long and he came back stronger than ever and was back operating and consulting before we knew it!

Read more

Injured at Work - What Now?

Injured at Work - What Now?

Work injuries can be a tricky business - read on to find out the steps you need to take to get the treatment you need and back to your life as quickly as possible.

Read more

Private Health Insurance Reforms

Private Health Insurance Reforms

From 1 April 2019 there are going to be some reforms to Australia’s private health insurance.  The idea is for this to streamline the whole process and to make it a lot less confusing for people trying to choose their private health fund.  Instead of so many various types of cover, there will be Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Read more

Spinal Surgery - It's a Team Sport!

Spinal Surgery - It's a Team Sport!

There are so many things to think about if you have been told you need a spinal operation.  You are given a lot of new information usually in a short space of time and are struggling to accept the fact that you need major surgery and are dealing with all...

Read more

Online Appointments

Online Appointments

We are happy to offer our patients the opportunity to make appointments through our website.  We have had this function available previously but it is now integrated which means that there are a lot more appointments available as the My Health 1st system takes the appointment times directly from our practice software and we are notified when a patient makes an appointment.

Read more

Medicinal Marijuana

Medicinal Marijuana

There has been a lot of talk about cannabis being used to treat chronic pain and a lot of other ailments for a long time.  In Australia we are actually getting a lot closer to it becoming available now.

Read more

Q & A with Dr Michael Davies

Q & A with Dr Michael Davies

What does a Neurosurgeon/Pain Management Specialist do?

Read more

Investigations

Investigations

It's important to have the right investigations to diagnose exactly what your problem is.  Each different investigation has a specific purpose and is to either rule out or confirm a diagnosis.  The various investigations that we use to determine a problem in the spine are set out below.

Read more