Approximately 20% of the population smokes. Even though everyone knows smoking is bad for their health, quitting is HARD. But did you know that smoking can actually affect the healing process? It’s true. Smoking can slow the healing process, increase the risk of wound problems and infection and research has even shown that smokers tend to have greater pain than non-smokers.
How does smoking affect the healing process? Think of it like an accident on a major highway where you are forced to merge from all traffic from 4 lanes down to 2. That is what smoking does the same thing to your body due to lack of oxygen. The lack of oxygen causes the blood vessels to narrow and the blood to become thicker making it more difficult to get the oxygen to the area of the body that needs it for healing.
It has been shown that quitting smoking before surgery can reduce the risk of complications and lower the chances of having problems following surgery.
Given the effects of smoking on the healing process, we have seen an increase in physicians who are refusing to perform surgery on workers’ comp patients who smoke. Often, the workers’ compensation doctor will prescribe a smoking cessation program. More often than not, the insurer will deny such treatment and legal intervention is needed.
If you or a loved one is facing surgery in your workers’ compensation claim, contact The Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera to make sure you get the medical treatment and benefits your are entitled to. Call us today for a free consultation.