My friend has booked herself in for abdominoplasty surgery for early in the new year but she occasionally uses recreational drugs, as well as being a social smoker. Due to the surgery being so soon after the 'holiday period' I'm worried she might suffer complications during the surgery because of her lifestyle. What are the effects of recreational drugs use on an operation, and how long before the surgery should she change her lifestyle?
Before any surgical procedure it is vital that you tell your doctor all you can about medications and this would include recreational drugs. The anaesthetist will be able to advise on the possibility of interactions between drugs and medications and the sooner they know the information you can provide for them the better. Regarding smoking, it is true that smoking around the time of a surgical procedure can increase the risks of the surgery and the anaesthetic.
Most surgeons would need to know if you are smoking at the time of surgery, and I would advise all my patients to stop at least two weeks before surgery, but of course a longer period is more favourable. Some surgical procedures may be cancelled if you have smoked within two weeks of the procedure.
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Dr Jeremy Hunt FRACS
Suite 609, Eastpoint Tower, 180 Ocean Street, Edgecliff, NSW 2027
Phone: (02) 9327 1733