Refusal to Operate Due to Being a Smoker

Posted , 8 users are following.

I was at the Orthaepedics this morning regarding Bunion Operative Surgery and was advised that I would not be allowed the operation as I am a smoker and has told me to stop smoking before they will consider operating. I have already waited 1 year to get to this stage and to be honest don't really want to stop smoking in order to have an operation. I will stop smoking but when I am ready to stop not because someone tells me to. Can the NHS discriminate people like this? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, what you can do is go into PALS there is one in every hospital or most. tell them your problem and they will inform you what your rights are. Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi Lynne as I understand it if your smoking it can limit the healing/skin repair, but it can also cause problems under the anaesthetic. Why would any surgeon operate on someone whose recovery might be hampered by some other influence, when they can operate on someone who is willing to do what it takes to make the best recovery? Sorry if that sounded harsh, but surely you could manage to give up for a few months before and after the op. or if that is too difficult maybe cut down? Yes I am a none smoker but I do know how hard it

    is to break an addiction - chocolate and diet coke for me, oh and sugar. And yes when it comes time for me to have another op I will have to loose weight.

    Good luck giving up the cigarettes Tina

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  • Posted

    Thanks for all comments. I had the operation 4 weeks ago and had no problems wtith anaesthetic and no issues with infection/healing. In fact the surgeon can't believe how good my operation went and how well my scars are healing. AND yes i didn't pack the fags in. At the end of the day being a smoker should not limit getting an operation on your bunion or to be honest anywhere. I could understand if I needed a spare lung as I have damaged my own. We all know the risks whether you smoke or not of the anaesthetic and healing. Lynne
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  • Posted

    Seems to me that those in the medical professions, who just happen to be lucky enough to be non-smokers, consider it their duty to try and force smokers to quit. They don't understand its not that easy, but they still use their position and their powers to block access to treatments as a threat. I've encountered this at dentists many times. 20 years ago this would never have been allowed on any level. It causes added distress and no self respecting professional should employ these methods. I understand that their intention may be a good one, but how they try to enforce it is wrong. Fullstop.
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  • Posted

    They are not lucky to be a non smoker, they are sensible and save money:-) I would have been sensible but worked in the tobacco industry when I first left school. I always knew it was harmful, why else did WWI soldiers call then Coffin Nails? And I saw the Smoking Beagles on Panorama.

    I enjoyed smoking and smoked cigarettes, cigars and a pipe and was not adverse to a pinch of snuff.

    I stopped a couple of times for around six months but boredom while travelling had me starting again.

    When I was 58 in 1993 I finally decided to stop. No patches, no pills, cold turkey and a jar to put the money saved every week in. Above the jar I put a picture of the then Chancellor and told him no more tax from me.

    Each month I put the money in a separate account. Eight months later I used it to go to Hong Kong and China... I am a budget not a package tour traveller. Then went to Zimbabwe and Botswana on safari.

    cigarettes give you a cough, holidays give you memories.

    You can also put the money into a pension scheme to help enjoy the extra years that not smoking gives you.

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  • Posted

    I can understand your frustration but I completely agree with the hospital. I am sure surgery risks are greater if you are a smoker and possibly recovery afterwards may be slower. As you have waited a long time for surgery I would imagine you would do anything to go ahead with it as quickly as possible. Also I am sure that you would not want there to be complications with the surgery. I am not sure how old you are or how long you have smoked but as it is now proven how smoking damages your body it sounds like giving up for the operation may be a good thing. I understand it is not what you want but maybe in the long term it may be a good thing. Hope you get your operation soon .
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  • Posted

    I never smoked, maybe picked one up in my late teens, but never inhaled....

    My dad lived to 96, never smoked, but did his share of too much alcohol.

    My grandkids lost their dad last year, he was 55 and picked up his first cig at 10 and didn't quit until his first born arrived 17 yrs ago....Too late for him.

    I understand it's a horrible habit to break, but it's done every day.

    Dam those tobacco companies for all the damage done....

    I believe in marijuana but would NEVER use the smokes to inhale, only more lung damage....

    In CA we have have MJ dispensaries and one can buy other products with MJ to help with their pain.....it's expensive so I don't go to that...I've bought a couple MJ lozenges but they didn't do much at all re: pain.

    Our town here in CA, has VERY strict non smoking rules and regulations...even on our beaches people are NOT permitted to smoke anymore....all those butts going into our sadly dying ocean........

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  • Posted

    Hello, just curious if you ever had your surgery. I was also told the same thing and it was actually in big bold letters on one of the sheets he gave me.

    Unfortunetaly I was still smoking when I had my surgery Jan.6\15 an nothing was said to me nor did he ask me. 

    I know the healing does take longer but that I will deal with. I go see him this Tues. so here's hoping things on the healing end are on track.

     

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  • Posted

    I live in Canada and I was told the same thing, infact on one of the surgeons print out said in bold letters IF YOU ARE A SMOKER AND DO NOT QUIT THERE WILL BE NO SURGERY AND IT WILL BE CANCELLED, I asked several people about this to include the hospital when I went for my pre op at the hospital and the nurse said she has never heard of anyone being denied because of smoking, oh that made me feel better as I am a smoker but I have tried since I read the surgeons print out and it was a hit an miss but still smoking. I totally agree you can't quit if someone tells you as you have to want to or it is simply pointless, I know I just went through it. I returned to my surgeon the 2nd time after the intial visit with him and he never mentioned a word about if I had quit or not but I'm sure he could smell me lol, all he said was to really try to cut back on the smoking if I hadn't quite. I do know that it cuts down on the healing process so I believe that is the concerns but again our choice.

    I have had my surgery on Jan.6\15 and return on the 20th to the hospital for my lst follow up but I know a lot of swelling has gone as my leg is really lose in the cast\wrappings of my foot and leg, I use my pillow I had to buy faithfully to keep my leg up over my heart. This pillow I also had to have for the actual surgery or he wouldn't do it, which cost me $86.00 and no coverage but we do what we have to.

    Good luck to you and keep in touch.

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