Surgery...

Rjohnson87

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
So I am scheduled to have my 4th and 5th knee surgery. It will be a 2 part, first clean and inspect and second surgery to replace and fix. My thing is the doctor told me I HAD to quit smoking or he would not do the surgery. Now I'm curious can he do that? He is actually having me do a nicotine test when I go back next week. I'm a Marlboro Red pack a day smoker. I have been able to cut back to maybe 1-2 cigarettes a day, but it is tough. I just didn't think a doctor, at least a military doctor could tell you you had to quit smoking.
 

JosephWC

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Smokers have been proven to be at an increased risk of post surgical complications. The problem is that there isn't an exact line in the sand drawn when attempting to label someone as a smoker vs a non-smoker. With that, the decision is definitely on a case by case basis, and if a surgeon finds that your surgery has a high risk of complications or failure due to your inability to meet their very much possible requirement of quitting, they do have authorization to deny you. It is the same thing as an individual in bariatrics that is attempting to get gastric bypass surgery but refuses to lose the necessary weight without surgery. The initial demand and success of weight loss without surgery proves to doctors that the patient is willing and able to use the surgery appropriately and not have it go to waste. If you do not comply with realistic expectations of a doctor, that doctor can refuse treatment; however, you could probably just try a different doctor if this one falls through. Good luck!
 
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