Higher rates of surgical site infection (SSI) found in current smokers, decreased rates of SSI with short-term tobacco abstinence

[JAMA Surgery, February 2017] This study reveals that current smoking is associated with more frequent surgical site infection (SSI) in patients undergoing elective surgery and that smokers who abstain from smoking on the day of surgery are less likely to develop SSI. In effect, just as clinicians routinely request that patients consume nothing by mouth on the day of surgery, they should also recommend that patients abstain from smoking on the morning of surgery if they are not willing to make a more prolonged preoperative quit attempt.

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