Study examines association of smoking with hemorrhage after throat surgery

Aug 18, 2008

Smoking appears to be associated with an increased rate of hemorrhage (bleeding) in patients who undergo uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP, a surgical procedure used to remove excess tissue from the throat) with tonsillectomy (a surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed), but not in those who undergo tonsillectomy alone, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Otolaryngology−Head & Neck Surgery.

Although indications for tonsillectomy have changed over the years, it remains a common surgical procedure with a substantial risk for complications, the greatest of which is post-operative hemorrhage, according to background information in the article.

Sean M. Demars, M.D., then of Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash., and now of Bassett Army Community Hospital, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and colleagues evaluated the rate of post-operative bleeding in 1,010 tonsillectomy patients from 2000 to 2005. Age, sex and smoking status were also noted.

The total bleeding rate for all patients was 6.7 percent. When divided into smokers and non-smokers, the bleeding rate for patients was 10.2 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. The large difference was found "to be attributable to a marked increase in post-operative hemorrhage in the patients who underwent UPPP [10.9 percent in smokers vs. 3.3 percent in non-smokers]," the authors write. In addition, "men who underwent tonsillectomy alone bled significantly more than women (11.2 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively)."

Awareness of the association between smoking and post-operative hemorrhage "may help clinicians further counsel their patients before surgery," the authors conclude. "Further investigation of this relationship is needed, with stratification of patients by the number of cigarettes smoked and attention to the length of time before and/or after surgery that patients refrain from smoking."

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

14 hours ago

Each year thousands of students enroll in medical schools across the country. But just how many feel they've been disrespected, publicly humiliated, ridiculed or even harassed by their superiors at some point during their ...

Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

22 hours ago

When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia

22 hours ago

Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

User comments : 0