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Editorials |

Smoking Cessation Before Lung Resection

Susan Murin, MD, MSc
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, UC Davis School of Medicine
 ,  Dr. Murin is Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, UC Davis School of Medicine.

Correspondence to: Susan Murin, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, UC Davis School of Medicine; 4150 V St, Suite 3400, Sacramento, CA 95817; e-mail: sxmurin@ucdavis.edu



Chest. 2005;127(6):1873-1875. doi:10.1378/chest.127.6.1873
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Extract

A relationship between cigarette smoking and postoperative pulmonary complications has long been recognized. Both smoking-associated lung diseases and smoking itself have been shown to pose an increased risk for respiratory complications in the postoperative period, as variably defined in different studies,12 but usually including some combination of pulmonary infection, atelectasis, bronchospasm, and prolonged ventilation. The development of pulmonary complications has, in turn, been associated with a higher postoperative mortality rate.3 Former smokers have a lower rate of complications than current smokers, and, while it is logical to assume that getting our patients to quit smoking before surgery would translate into a lower rate of postoperative pulmonary complications, reality proves more complex. When it comes to smoking, smoking cessation, and perioperative complications, it’s not just if you quit, but when you quit, that matters.

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