Negative Influences on Surgical Outcomes
Posted October 23, 2023
Weight loss drugs such as Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Wegovy are a hot topic. One of the ways that these medications help patients lose weight is by slowing the stomach emptying, thereby causing the patient to feel fuller for a longer period. This results in retained food and fluid in the stomach, which causes a higher risk of aspiration at the time of surgery. It has become standard policy for hospitals and surgical centers to require patients to hold these medications for at least one week before surgery to decrease the risk of aspiration complications. Elective surgical procedures are being canceled for patients not holding the medications a minimum of one week before surgery.
Nicotine, including smoking, vaping, patches, and gum, can severely impact surgical healing. This can result in poor scarring, open wounds, and even tissue loss due to decreased oxygen to the tissues from nicotine. Marijuana, including medical marijuana, also negatively impacts healing in the same way. The use of nicotine and marijuana should be stopped 2-4 weeks before surgery and a minimum of 4 weeks post-procedure to allow for better healing.
If you are considering a surgical procedure, it is important to discuss with your medical/surgical provider the medications you are on, your smoking, vaping, or marijuana use, as well as any other social drugs and supplements to allow a safe, effective treatment plan to be developed with realistic results.