Operating on Patients Who Smoke

A Survey of Thoracic Surgeons in the United States

Katy A. Marino, Melissa Little, Zoran Bursac, Jennifer L. Sullivan, Robert Klesges, Benny Weksler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Although preoperative smoking is associated with increased postoperative complications in patients who undergo major thoracic surgical procedures, there are no national guidelines that address the patient's preoperative tobacco use. This study examined the typical preoperative management of thoracic surgical patients who are smokers. Methods The link to an anonymous survey was emailed to cardiothoracic surgeons in the United States. The survey included questions regarding the likelihood of a surgeon to offer surgery and strategies used to assist patients in quitting smoking before surgery. Results The majority of the 158 surgeons who responded to the survey were general thoracic surgeons (68%, 107 of 158), in an academic practice (57%, 90 of 158), with more than 15 years of experience (51%, 81 of 158). An overwhelming majority of respondents (98.1%, 155 of 158) considered smoking preoperatively a risk factor for postoperative complications. The most common cessation strategy offered to smokers was pharmacologic intervention (77%, 122 of 158). Nearly half of the surgeons (47%, 74 of 156) would not perform certain operations in a patient who was a current smoker, but only 14% (10 of 74) tested patients preoperatively for smoking. Thoracic surgeons (odds ratio 2.1, p = 0.0379) and surgeons in academic practice (odds ratio 1.9, p = 0.057) were more likely to deny certain surgeries to current smokers. Two thirds of the surgeons (66%, 48 of 74) thought that the ideal wait time from smoking cessation to surgery was 2 to 4 weeks. Conclusions There is significant disagreement in the cardiothoracic surgical community regarding how to treat patients who smoke, especially when deciding to deny or postpone surgery. Prospective studies and guidelines are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-916
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Volume102
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

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Smoke
Smoking
Thorax
Thoracic Surgical Procedures
Odds Ratio
Guidelines
Surveys and Questionnaires
Surgeons
Tobacco Use
Smoking Cessation
Prospective Studies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Operating on Patients Who Smoke : A Survey of Thoracic Surgeons in the United States. / Marino, Katy A.; Little, Melissa; Bursac, Zoran; Sullivan, Jennifer L.; Klesges, Robert; Weksler, Benny.

In: Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Vol. 102, No. 3, 01.09.2016, p. 911-916.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Marino, Katy A. ; Little, Melissa ; Bursac, Zoran ; Sullivan, Jennifer L. ; Klesges, Robert ; Weksler, Benny. / Operating on Patients Who Smoke : A Survey of Thoracic Surgeons in the United States. In: Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2016 ; Vol. 102, No. 3. pp. 911-916.
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abstract = "Background Although preoperative smoking is associated with increased postoperative complications in patients who undergo major thoracic surgical procedures, there are no national guidelines that address the patient's preoperative tobacco use. This study examined the typical preoperative management of thoracic surgical patients who are smokers. Methods The link to an anonymous survey was emailed to cardiothoracic surgeons in the United States. The survey included questions regarding the likelihood of a surgeon to offer surgery and strategies used to assist patients in quitting smoking before surgery. Results The majority of the 158 surgeons who responded to the survey were general thoracic surgeons (68{\%}, 107 of 158), in an academic practice (57{\%}, 90 of 158), with more than 15 years of experience (51{\%}, 81 of 158). An overwhelming majority of respondents (98.1{\%}, 155 of 158) considered smoking preoperatively a risk factor for postoperative complications. The most common cessation strategy offered to smokers was pharmacologic intervention (77{\%}, 122 of 158). Nearly half of the surgeons (47{\%}, 74 of 156) would not perform certain operations in a patient who was a current smoker, but only 14{\%} (10 of 74) tested patients preoperatively for smoking. Thoracic surgeons (odds ratio 2.1, p = 0.0379) and surgeons in academic practice (odds ratio 1.9, p = 0.057) were more likely to deny certain surgeries to current smokers. Two thirds of the surgeons (66{\%}, 48 of 74) thought that the ideal wait time from smoking cessation to surgery was 2 to 4 weeks. Conclusions There is significant disagreement in the cardiothoracic surgical community regarding how to treat patients who smoke, especially when deciding to deny or postpone surgery. Prospective studies and guidelines are needed.",
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N2 - Background Although preoperative smoking is associated with increased postoperative complications in patients who undergo major thoracic surgical procedures, there are no national guidelines that address the patient's preoperative tobacco use. This study examined the typical preoperative management of thoracic surgical patients who are smokers. Methods The link to an anonymous survey was emailed to cardiothoracic surgeons in the United States. The survey included questions regarding the likelihood of a surgeon to offer surgery and strategies used to assist patients in quitting smoking before surgery. Results The majority of the 158 surgeons who responded to the survey were general thoracic surgeons (68%, 107 of 158), in an academic practice (57%, 90 of 158), with more than 15 years of experience (51%, 81 of 158). An overwhelming majority of respondents (98.1%, 155 of 158) considered smoking preoperatively a risk factor for postoperative complications. The most common cessation strategy offered to smokers was pharmacologic intervention (77%, 122 of 158). Nearly half of the surgeons (47%, 74 of 156) would not perform certain operations in a patient who was a current smoker, but only 14% (10 of 74) tested patients preoperatively for smoking. Thoracic surgeons (odds ratio 2.1, p = 0.0379) and surgeons in academic practice (odds ratio 1.9, p = 0.057) were more likely to deny certain surgeries to current smokers. Two thirds of the surgeons (66%, 48 of 74) thought that the ideal wait time from smoking cessation to surgery was 2 to 4 weeks. Conclusions There is significant disagreement in the cardiothoracic surgical community regarding how to treat patients who smoke, especially when deciding to deny or postpone surgery. Prospective studies and guidelines are needed.

AB - Background Although preoperative smoking is associated with increased postoperative complications in patients who undergo major thoracic surgical procedures, there are no national guidelines that address the patient's preoperative tobacco use. This study examined the typical preoperative management of thoracic surgical patients who are smokers. Methods The link to an anonymous survey was emailed to cardiothoracic surgeons in the United States. The survey included questions regarding the likelihood of a surgeon to offer surgery and strategies used to assist patients in quitting smoking before surgery. Results The majority of the 158 surgeons who responded to the survey were general thoracic surgeons (68%, 107 of 158), in an academic practice (57%, 90 of 158), with more than 15 years of experience (51%, 81 of 158). An overwhelming majority of respondents (98.1%, 155 of 158) considered smoking preoperatively a risk factor for postoperative complications. The most common cessation strategy offered to smokers was pharmacologic intervention (77%, 122 of 158). Nearly half of the surgeons (47%, 74 of 156) would not perform certain operations in a patient who was a current smoker, but only 14% (10 of 74) tested patients preoperatively for smoking. Thoracic surgeons (odds ratio 2.1, p = 0.0379) and surgeons in academic practice (odds ratio 1.9, p = 0.057) were more likely to deny certain surgeries to current smokers. Two thirds of the surgeons (66%, 48 of 74) thought that the ideal wait time from smoking cessation to surgery was 2 to 4 weeks. Conclusions There is significant disagreement in the cardiothoracic surgical community regarding how to treat patients who smoke, especially when deciding to deny or postpone surgery. Prospective studies and guidelines are needed.

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