December 06, 2014
1 min read

Smoking can be risk factor for dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Patients who are regular smokers have a higher rate of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery, according to data presented here at the Cervical Spine Research Society Annual Meeting.

Erik C. Olsson, MD, presented results of a cross-sectional cohort study which analyzed 100 patients who underwent anterior cervical spine surgery. The study included 51 males and 49 females, of which 21 patients were active smokers.

“Smokers had higher preoperative pain scores and were more likely to experience dysphagia. Their symptoms when they experienced dysphagia were more severe when compared to non-smokers, or part-time smokers,” Olsson said.

Erik C. Olsson

Smokers had far more severe symptoms of dysphagia than non-smokers or part-time smokers, Olsson said. He also presented data that showed 71% of the 7 patients who underwent revision surgery experienced symptoms of dysphagia.

Full-time smokers should be counseled prior to undergoing anterior cervical spine surgery to warn them of the high risk of developing dysphagia following the surgery, he said.

“We identified smokers as an at risk population that warrants follow-up prospective research,” he said. – by Robert Linnehan


Olsson EC. Paper #32. Presented at: Cervical Spine Research Society Annual Meeting; Dec. 4-6, 2014; Orlando, Fla.

Disclosure: Olsson has no relevant financial disclosures.