Blog Posts

Smoking and bariatric surgery

January 23, 2020

If you’re a smoker and you’re considering bariatric surgery, there are a few things you should know first.

Most smokers already know a slew of reasons why they should quit smoking. However, if you are hoping to get bariatric surgery, it’s one more reason to consider quitting smoking. The bad habit can lead to a slew of diseases and it will have an impact on quality of living, especially the longer you smoke. You may have problems with poor blood supply, high blood pressure, blood clots that can lead to strokes, heart problems, lung problems, and a slew of different cancers, such as lung cancer, throat cancer, mouth cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

Depending on the type of bariatric surgery you opt for, there will be fewer blood vessels going to the stomach. Smoking already causes issues with narrowing blood vessels, and because of this, the blood vessels carry less oxygen. This means that continuing to smoke after bariatric surgery can be extremely dangerous. The risk for ulcers, gastritis, and strictures increase. Less oxygen will reach your surgical wound, meaning it may heal more slowly and is more at-risk of becoming infected. There is also an association between tobacco use and respiratory problems following bariatric surgery. Recovery will be more difficult if you’re a smoker. One study showed that smokers, as compared to their nonsmoking counterparts, were 1.5 times more likely to develop surgery-related problems within one month of surgery.

Doctors recommend that you stop smoking cigarettes and using any tobacco products approximately six to eight weeks before your surgery, if not even sooner. The sooner you quit, the more you lower your risk of problems after surgery. Every smoker that decides to pursue weight-loss surgery will be counseled on the risks of smoking before and after surgery, as well as the health benefits of quitting.

Smoking is considered a surgical risk factor for bariatric surgery, so if weight-loss surgery is in your future, it’s time to make a change.


©2019 ReShape Lifesciences Inc        All Rights Reserved                 Part Number 04-0509 Rev. A

The Latest

Important Lap-Band® System Safety Information

The Lap-Band System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.

The Lap-Band System is not recommended for non-adult patients (patients under 18 years of age), patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.

The Lap-Band System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.

Placement of the Lap-Band System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Most common related adverse events include: Band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.

Important: For full safety information please click here or talk with your doctor.