Study: Quitting smoking before surgery improves patient outcomes

Patients who smoke had best stop doing so before they have surgery. That's the conclusion drawn by a group of German medical researchers, who have concluded that that patients who kick the habit before surgery can cut their risk of poor wound healing in half.

The study, published on, reported that trials showed that 28 percent of smokers had wound healing problems, versus 14 percent of patients who went on nicotine replacement therapy at least four weeks before their surgery.

Researchers hypothesize that the body endures the strains imposed by anesthetics and surgery more easily when a patient isn't smoking, since both reduce the oxygen supply and smoking only aggravates the problem.

To learn more about the study:
- read this UPI piece