You should try to quit smoking before your surgery. Research has shown that smoking results in slower healing, a higher chance of complications (e.g. greater risk of infection) and a longer time spent in hospital.
If you are having difficulties with trying to quit smoking, discuss with your family doctor. There may be medications to help. If you are concerned about withdrawal, ask your doctor about a nicotine patch.
Before your surgery, find out about stop smoking classes offered in your community by visiting the NS Lung Association website or contacting them by telephone at 1-888-566-5864 (Nova Scotia only) for more information.
Another consideration is that joint replacement surgery requires you to have an anesthetic. You will want your lungs as fit as possible to get ready for the anesthetic. After surgery, your nurse will teach you breathing exercises, so you will need your lungs to be as strong and healthy as possible. Also, the hospital is a non-smoking environment, so this is a perfect chance to quit!
If you are having joint replacement surgery, now is a good time to quit smoking. You can visit the Cancer Society’s Smoker’s Helpline website for more information and resources on quitting smoking.