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Vaping before surgery?

Discussion in 'Health, Safety and Vaping' started by Katatonik, Jun 27, 2012.

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  1. Katatonik

    Katatonik Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 14, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    I have a microdiscectomy on July 2nd at 10:00 AM. None of the literature I got from Pre-op mentioned anything about tobacco.

    From what I can assume, I shouldn't vape for at least 12 hours, probably 24 -- Nicotine leaves the system in around that time frame.

    Anyone know for sure?

    I vape about 2 mL a day at 17 mg. In case that helps.
  2. Randy C

    Randy C Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2012
    SW Florida
    Kat, Thanks for asking the question, I too am looking at surgery in the coming weeks and look forward to reading responses
  3. slojas

    slojas Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 21, 2012
    Zigcigs did a video about the effects of nicotine and recovering from broken bones, basically the constriction of tiny capillaries from the nicotine lenghtens recovery time by a notable amount.

    What I take from it is that the vaping would be fine but the nicotine will increase the recovery time after the surgery.

    Electronic Cigarettes Nicotine Health Risk every user should know -- eCigs info
    Electronic Cigarettes Nicotine Health Risk every user should know -- eCigs info - YouTube
  4. slojas

    slojas Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 21, 2012
    Another medical risk to asses is PG and the body's ability to metabolize it.

    PG is basically turned into various acids and is excreted though urine and sweat.
    pyruvic acid- byproduct of processing glucose (gummy bear)
    acetic acid- byproduct of processing ethanol (glass of wine)
    lactic acid- byproduct of stomach digestion and muscular byproduct during exercise

    high-dose intravenous Pentobarbital or Lorazapam and Propylene Glycol mixed together has resulted in Glycol-Induced Lactic Acidosis

    The drugs themselves were diluted in a PG mixture and caused fairly high levels of PG in the blood stream, this mixed with the metabolic depressing properties of the drugs created a very dangerous mixture.

    Doctors should be aware of this and know how to avoid it, the concentration of PG in the blood from vaping would be fractional compared to the cases mentioned as well.

    So this is a very low risk but it doesn't hurt to know.

    Propylene Glycol-Induced Lactic Acidosis in a Patient with Normal Renal Function: A Proposed Mechanism and Monitoring Recommendations

    Propylene Glycol
  5. CrazyCatz

    CrazyCatz Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    Near My Coffee
    I had knee surgery in Feb and vaping was allowed before surgery. I spoke to the anesthesiologist about it before my surgery day. They asked about any meds I am on, my asthma, etc and made a decision based on "MY" situation, how long I would be under for the surgery and current health. Please call and if you can ask to speak to the anesthesiologist about your concerns.

    My general rule, when in doubt, don't do it so please call for your safety and health. :)
  6. Clovery

    Clovery Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 5, 2012
    new jersey
    No one can tell you definitively except for your doctor. If you know who your anesthesiologist will be, you should call and ask him or her.

    I've seen people vaping in the hospital hours after a lobectomy, and I've smelled tobacco smoke on people who were in the pre-op holding area. I think a big concern with it would be that you can't take anything by mouth 8 to 12 hours before surgery, including water. This plus vaping could lead to dehydration. Plus nicotine causes blood vessel constriction so it could affect healing time due to decreased circulation. However, last year I went for surgery to get a couple of wisdom teeth out, and I stopped smoking the day before. I arrived in the morning for my surgery and they hooked me up to the machine that takes your vital signs. My heart rate was only around 60, where it normally was around 90 when I was a smoker. And that was before they gave me any medications. While I was under, my heart rate and breathing slowed so much that they had to stop the sedation anesthesia in the middle of the surgery and I woke up. Not fun! I don't know for sure if it was because I didn't smoke, but I do know that when you stop a substance that you usually take, you have a profound opposite reaction - e.g. caffeine increases HR, so withdrawing from caffeine you will have a slow HR, painkillers decrease HR, so withdrawing from them you will have a high HR.

    Anyway, this is just anecdotal and you should ask!
  7. sugismimi

    sugismimi Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 13, 2010
    just wanted to jump in and share, but will maention like it has already been said, ask your doctor, and his team of professionals before you go to surgery.

    1 important item i went to pre op with was my list of questions. you may think your being silly or taking to much time from the dr. but they really do appreciate your being as well informed as possible.

    I had outpatient surgery June 8th. my surgeon knew I vaped and the ingrediants , and then the anesthesiologist asked me, you say you dont smoke but you vape???, that led to another nice convo about vaping.
    none of the team had anything bad to tell me about side effects or dangers. My recovery was as expected no longer than was expected, so ;

    be safe not sorry, and ask questions.
    hope this helped and sets your mind at ease.
  8. Katatonik

    Katatonik Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 14, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    So what happened:
    2 days before surgery, I allowed myself 4 drags in the morning and in the evening.
    1 Day before surgery, I took 2 drags at 9:30 AM (~24 hrs before scheduled surgery).
    At about 10 PM I caved and had another 2 drags. I just had too much anxiety.

    I don't know the uptake in terms of ml of liquid, but if I hazarded a guess, it would be <.25 mL over the two days at 17 mg.

    In pre-op (~9:30 AM)
    Blood pressure was high ~130/91. My blood pressure is totally erratic. I get totally different readings each time I get it checked. Anxiety was probably a factor.
    BPM was 104---really fast for resting. Again anxiety is to blame.
    Anesthesiologist asked me about my meds, but didn't even ask about nicotine or smoking.

    Surgery was a microdiscectomy of the L4-L5. This particular surgical procedure is one of the least invasive surgical procedures on the spine. Since it was spinal surgery and their direct motive was to relieve the pressure against the nerve, I had a neurologist who was monitoring all electrical signals between the brain (EKG) and assorted limb muscles (EMG).

    Surgery was scheduled for 10 AM, but surgeon was still in surgery. I didn't leave pre-op until 10:30. I went under at around 12 hrs after last nicotine hit. I woke up around 2:30, and stayed awake.
    I am not groggy. I am not nauseous. My back is sore, but that's to be expected. I can move and walk around.

    Small dose of Nicotine 12 hours before surgery did not negatively affect me.

    All anecdotal evidence. Don't assume you will be able to go through it the same way. Please don't sue me and blame me for telling you it was ok.
    I am not liable for anything that happens to you based on this story.

    Next test:
    Nicotine over the next month. I will try to limit it, but I will undoubtedly cheat.
  9. Randy C

    Randy C Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2012
    SW Florida
    I'm scheduled for back surgery in five days. Like most others, I got a list of meds (aspirin, anti-inflamitory meds, etc) to stop taking 7 days prior to surgery from my neurosurgeon. I met with my internist after I received the list and asked her if vaping was safe up until the surgery. She told me not to worry about it and that I could vape up until the day of my surgery.

    Fast forward... I am going for pre-op testing today and I'll inform the hospital and anesthesiologist staff of my vaping habit. I'll take their direction as to how to move forward. I'll post what they tell me later on today
  10. sugismimi

    sugismimi Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 13, 2010
    I am so glad to hear all went well.
    I was thinking when I did smoke I don't remember anyone saying I had to limit how many cigarettes I smoked before surgery, so I'm thinking vaping should be acceptable, but you know what they say about assuming, always ask of course.

    Kat, have you tried DIY?
    There is a big thread/ section on this. You will find that most go to DIY, to limit the flavoring or control the exact amts. of nicotine going into their juice.
    This way no " cheating" , you can vape to your hearts content, and not worry about it.
    I actually started DIY because I couldn't stand the way nicotine juice smelled first of all, and I like my flavoring strong. Most mix at 10-20 % flavoring, but I like mine at closer to 30-35 . In doing that and mixing my own juice I was able to cut nicotine to almost zilch amts. I do add a drop or two just because but at most times I don't .
    Just a thought for ya.

    Hope you continue to recover and do well from your surgery

  11. juicejunky

    juicejunky Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jan 22, 2011
    My understanding is smoking makes a big difference for the anesthesiologist. They have to keep your airways clear and smokers have all kinds of crap in there that they have to be prepared for (suck out). My anesthetist friend told me that even if you lie about smoking they will know as soon as they put you under. I wouldn't think vapers would have the same problem, but I'm not a doctor. My oxygen levels have gone from 94-5 as a smoker to 99-100 as a vaper.

    I am glad you did well Katatonik.
  12. Randy C

    Randy C Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2012
    SW Florida
    I went thru the pre-op testing yesterday. My nurse asked if I smoked tobacco and I told her no, however I told her I vaped. She didn't tell me to stay away from vaping prior to my surgery. She did mention that I may not be able to vape while I'm in the hospital.
  13. CarrieZ

    CarrieZ Full Member

    Jun 22, 2012
    Shamokin, Pennsylvania
    I have had a lot of surgeries....

    My doctor was always concerned about smoking because smokers take longer to recover, why exactly i don't remember. He always said the longer i could go without smoking the more minutes it would take off of my recovery time. I guess it's like the minutes each cigarette will eventually take away from your life.

    The anesthesiologist was always concerned with breathing issues. I have asthma and anesthesia always causes some sort of breathing issue after surgery, even when i was smoke free for months before. I don't remember them ever being concerned about while i was knocked out but i know i was lectured about the increased rate of pneumonia and upper respiratory issues. There were medications that i was told not to take for weeks before procedures but then the anesthesiologist allowed me to take certain things at different times. I suppose it was the benefit outweighing the risks.

    I've always received breathing treatments which i think prevented any serious post op breathing issues. The only time i had a problem was when i had a c-section which i was awake for. I ended up leaving the hospital with a newborn, abdominal issues and double pneumonia. Fun Times !!!

    Whatever you do, be honest with the Doctor and Anesthesiologist about anything you take into your body. They mostly need to be prepared for anything that may come up.
  14. Randy C

    Randy C Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2012
    SW Florida
    I got the same info from my Neurosurgeon... He told me nicotine is a no-no during recovery because it constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow to recovery area. In my case, nicotine could reduce the chance of spinal fusion. He did say that before I every pick up an analog to "vape away" if necessary; that the tar and carcinogens from analogs make recovery a nightmare. Thank God I have two of the best juice vendors in the world. As much as I don't like the idea of vaping zero nicotine juice, both Mom & Pop and Don from Backwoods Brew both sent me a nice zero mg care packages.
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