Chronic exposure to cigarette smoke produces profound changes in physiology that may alter responses to perioperative interventions and contribute to perioperative morbidity. Because of smoke-free policies in healthcare facilities, all smokers undergoing surgery are abstinent from cigarettes for at least some period of time so that all are in various stages of recovery from the effects of smoke. Understanding this recovery process will help perioperative physicians better treat these patients. This review examines current knowledge regarding how both short-term (duration ranging from hours to weeks) and long-term smoking cessation affects selected physiology and pathophysiology of particular relevance to perioperative outcomes and how these changes affect perioperative risk. It will also consider current evidence regarding how nicotine replacement therapy, a valuable adjunct to help patients maintain abstinence, may affect perioperative physiology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine