Why should I quit smoking now if I need coronary artery bypass surgery?

One reason patients who may require bypass surgery should stop smoking immediately is to help preserve health and function of the leg vein used for the coronary bypass graft.

In a study published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, researchers analyzed heart surgery outcomes in 208 patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. After dividing the patients into six groups based on the current quantity smoked and previous smoking status, they found that heavy smoking noticeably increased enzymes linked to vein graft failure. The researchers also found that noticeable vein recovery needs at least six months, and vein enzymes do not completely return to normal levels even after one year.

“Although recovery after smoking cessation appears somewhat disappointing, it illustrates exactly the importance of prompt smoking cessation for patients who will receive CABG,” the researchers wrote.

Continue Learning about Heart Surgeries

Heart Surgeries

Heart Surgeries

More than a half million surgeries are done each year to correct heart problems in children and adults. One of the most common types of heart surgery performed is coronary artery bypass grafting, which uses a blood vessel taken fr...

om another part of the body to bypass a blocked artery and help prevent a heart attack. Another is heart valve replacement, used to repair heart valves that don't open and close properly. Heart surgery can be minimally invasive, such as when a small incision is made to the chest to insert a pacemaker. At the other extreme is open-heart surgery, which requires a large incision to the chest to open the rib cage and operate on the heart. Learn more about the different kinds of heart surgeries with expert advice from Sharecare.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.