Having Surgery? Quit Smoking

Smoking may increase complications after urological cancer surgery

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) Ditching those cigarettes may help more than just your lungs.

A new study found that current and past smoking may increase the risk of complications after urological cancer surgery. This increase was specifically seen after prostate and bladder surgeries.

"Besides demonstrating negative effects of smoking on surgical outcomes, our research found that those effects differed according to the procedure performed," said study leader Akshay Sood, MD, of Henry Ford Hospital's Vattikuti Urology Institute, in a press release.

Dr. Sood and colleagues used the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database for their study. They chose 9,014 patients who had surgery for cancer of the prostate, bladder, or kidney between 2005 and 2011. Their focus was on negative events in the 30 days after each surgery.

They found that smokers who underwent prostate surgery had an increased risk of lung and kidney complications compared to nonsmokers. They also had prolonged hospital stays. Former smokers (who hadn't smoked for at least a year) had no increased risk.

In those patients who underwent bladder surgery, smokers were more likely to need another surgery than nonsmokers. Also, former smokers had increased odds for readmission to the hospital.

"These findings should provide motivation for all patients to quit smoking before undergoing major surgery," Dr. Sood said. "It's clear that they can expect better results with fewer complications if they do."

This research was part of a larger study that looked at the effects of smoking on the outcomes of surgeries. Smoking did not appear to have an effect on other surgeries.

This study was presented May 15 at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association. Research presented at conferences may not have been peer-reviewed.

Dr. Sood and team disclosed no funding sources or conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
May 15, 2015
Last Updated:
May 19, 2015