September 23, 2014
1 min read

Cigarette use linked with elevated complication risk after surgery

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CHICAGO — There is a significant increase in complication rates following forefoot surgery for patients who smoke cigarettes, according to a speaker here.

“As surgeons, it is our job to educate patients on this risk preoperatively, to document that we did so and to help patients quit,” Clayton C. Bettin, MD, said at the International Federation of Foot & Ankle Societies Triennial Meeting.

Bettin and colleagues retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 602 patients who underwent forefoot surgery and for whom cigarette use history could be determined. Group I (457 patients) had no history of cigarette smoking, Group II (79 patients) previously smoked cigarettes but stopped preoperatively and Group III (66 patients) continued to smoke postoperatively. The patients had average follow-ups of 15.3 months, 18.4 months and 11.6 months, respectively.

The researchers evaluated nonunion, infection, delayed wound healing and union, persistent pain, total complications and complication rates.

Groups I, II and III were found to have 39, 13 and 24 patients, respectively, experiencing postoperative complications. Group III patients had the highest percentage of delayed union, infection, delayed wound healing and persistent pain of all three groups, according to Bettin. — by Christian Ingram

Reference: Bettin CC. Cigarette smoking increases complication rate in forefoot surgery. Presented at: International Federation of Foot & Ankle Societies Triennial Meeting; Sept. 19-21, 2014; Chicago.

Disclosure: Bettin has no relevant financial disclosures.