Smoking after Gastric Bypass Surgery – Bad Idea

Smoking Cigarette

I figured I would address the elephant in the room, well my room at least. That elephant is evil cigarette addiction it’s a bad idea, and even more so after having Gastric Bypass Surgery.

When I started this blog I promised I would share, the good, the bad and the UGLY – well this falls under the UGLY and BAD for sure. Thankfully most will not have to deal with this, but if you do you will understand this post. Smoking Sucks !!!

I have been a smoker for many many years, yup an absolute horrible habit and one I wish I never ever started. Over the years I was able to quit cold turkey with no issues, but something always made me go back and pick them up. I have quit for long periods of time and also short periods of time over the years. I am fully aware of the damage they can do and the risks involved in this stupid habit.

I have lost family members to cancer, one being my mother when I was only 8. She did not die of smoking related cancer, but she was also a smoker and cancer is cancer to me. I have lost others to the “Cancer” disease and have had some who thank god are in remission. I have watched my husband struggle with his lung issues (long story, but mainly related to work incident) and he was once a smoker as well. So what the hell is my problem? Why do cigarettes have such a hold on me?

With that all said – when I got my first date for my Gastric Bypass Surgery I had to sign a contract saying I would quit smoking no less than 6 weeks prior to my surgery. I got myself some nicotine patches, roughed it out and did just that. Yes I was climbing up the walls, ripping my hair out, but I did it !! Then right before that surgery date I got declined by my insurance company. I went into a major depression and was losing my mind – so what do I do? I freakin’ smoke after I went crazy quitting and knew when I got approved for the surgery in a few months from then I would have to quit all over again. I should be committed right?

Well the time came when I was finally approved and I had my new date – so guess what I had to do – quit again. So I went insane all over again, but I did it and I swore that was the very last time. So I had my surgery and afterwards I was fine. I still battled the cravings, but fought those suckers tooth and nail until….. About a month after my surgery I fell into another depression (see post HERE), my hormones were going bonkers from all the changes and breaking up with my food, my comfort, was so very hard. I broke down and smoked a cigarette. I told myself I would only smoke one. Yup who was I kidding, like that was gonna happen.

So here I am back with a habit that I have yet to shake, yet again. I know I have to or I may end up with lots of possible complications that can happen from smoking after having Gastric Bypass. Even though I started taking an antacid daily (Omeprazole) since I started in hopes to stall any of them that does not mean poop.

Gastric Bypass and Smoking Complications:

  • Ulcers – This is #1
  • Slows down healing by decreasing the blood supply
  • Increases chances of leaks
  • Increases chances of incisional hernias
  • Increase chances of developing Gall Stones

Ulcers are the #1 risk of Smoking after surgery among the many others. Our new pouches are very small and having an ulcer occur would not be very good at all and could potentially be dangerous. In addition to that your doctor may want to do an Upper Endoscopy to see what kind of ulcer may have occurred. The most common is a Marginal Ulcer that is caused from smoking and it is usually treated with medications. BUT sometimes ulcers can bleed, cause scarring and or perforation with leakage of gastric contents. None of that sounds fun to me – you?

So what is wrong with me and why can I not quit this stinky habit? Habits suck they really do. If you smoke or have you know all to well just how hard this is – the hold these cigarettes have on us is crazy, let alone the money we spend to buy them. I am writing this post to help me get on the track to quit yet again, but this time truly will be the very last. I know I am not alone with this smoking after gastric bypass, but most will not fess up. I want to be open with all my readers, I am only human and I have my flaws just like the rest of you all.

Recently I started experiencing some burning in my belly and the red light went off – could I be developing an Ulcer? Even if you do not smoke you can develop one after bypass, but because I have chosen a no-no – my risks double for one. Have I stopped smoking yet? – unfortunately I have not, but I am like I said working up to quitting again. I am in tune with the feelings/burning in my belly and will discuss if it continues at my next appointment with my surgeon on May 22nd – he is gonna kill me when I confess, but I am hoping to have quit by then. Oh I just gave myself a goal I guess. Time to set that quit date it seems.

So with that being said I will keep you all up to date and let you all know when that quit date is (gonna have to be before May 22nd I know that). I will need all the support I can get and you may see some crazy posts during that time – I do get a bit looney, so that is a warning.

Wish there was some magic wand way that can help those of us with quitting smoking, but there is not. It is one of the biggest head games I have ever played and I cannot believe I am going to be taking part again. Ugh !!! I just hope this time I come out a true winner.