No matter how big or the small the procedure, surgery is a traumatic experience on the body – the state of your body and how well you prepare it can make a huge difference on how your body recovers after surgery.

There are certain risks associated with undergoing surgery if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 or over, or if you smoke.

If you’re overweight:

  • The risk of infection is multiplied by five times if your BMI is 30 or above.
  • Obesity increases the risk of post-operative complications by 12 times.
  • There is an increased risk of further surgery on new joint implants if you’re overweight.

If you’re a smoker:

  • There is less risk of infection after surgery If you don’t smoke
  • Some of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke can lead to increased blood pressure, heart rate and a decrease in oxygen update whilst under general anaesthetic
  • Surgical wounds can take longer to heal if you’re a smoker

Under the Fit for Surgery programme, your GP may discuss the benefits of smoking cessation and/or weight loss, not just if you’re having surgery but for your overall health. They can refer you (or you may refer yourself) to services that may be able to help you achieve some pre-surgery goals in weight management or stopping smoking.

If you need support in leading a healthier lifestyle and you want to quit smoking or lose weight, here’s what you can do: