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Cardiac Ablation and smoking
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Cardiac Ablation and smoking

My mom is due to have a cardiac ablation in two weeks and thinks she is hiding her smoking from the family. She has not disclosed that she continues to smoke to her cardiologist. I am really worried that this could increase her risk for complications. There is a strong family history of stroke. I want to march her right into the cardiologist and make her confess but this really is her responsibility. Does anyone know what risks exist for someone smoking when they have the procedure. Any info would be great.

A worried daughter
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1137980_tn?1281289046
Okay i am probably the wrong person to answer this in honesty...i have been in the medical field for over 30 years now.....was  a smoker also (my bad) and had an ablation done 4 years ago for atrial fib among other things.  I of all people know the risks that are involved w. smoking probably more than the average bear.  Is there a direct bearing on smoking and having the procedure....yes.....will her risks increase........according to my heart surgeon no......but......the areas that would pretty much effect the procedure would actually be with the anesthesiologist because of pulmonary issues even tho when we smoke our arteries tend to dilate.  My feeling is this....you obviously love your mom alot and she is probably scared out of her wits like many of us were...and smoking may be her way to relax because she is facing a procedure that is pretty safe in the grand scheme of things however that does not abate anyones fear when docs go in probing about our hearts and giving it a run for its money.  A CVA or stroke is not something that is hereditary...it has to do with alot of issues within ones lives,,,,,blood pressure, obesity, lifetyle, clotting issues, etc.  Personally if one of my daughters had even attempted to march me into my heart docs office to confess i would definately consider putting her up for adoption LOL even tho my two kids are 29 and 34.....my feeling is that i am an adult, i make my own choices and also have to live with those choices.  One thing for absolutely sure that i know to be true is that your mom is probably pretty nervous and scared right now being its only fourteen days from her procedure and i think how you could help is simply to be there for your mom.....put no pressure on her especially now and accept what she is chosing to do and if you can find it in your heart tell her you don't want to make things harder on her by pushing this issue w. the smoking and at least help her to feel a little more comfortable.  I know as a mom and my daughters and i are super super close...it was important for me at the time before the procedure to spend as much happy time as i could w. my girls without them bringing up what i was doing wrong and for me because i had some issues during the procedure that are not of the norm (and had nothing to do w. smoking) that the pact we made was a Godsend because my procedure turned out to be a very very close call for me....being a mom all i can tell you to do during this time is to love your mom, be there unconditionally for her, don't make judgements on her, try to be there like there will be no tomorrow for her or you and fill her life with love and laughter during these next two weeks.  Like i said i am probably the worst person to respond to this....two hours after my ablation i snuck out on the patio, lit one up and got caught by my heart doc who just shook his head at me.  Oh have i mentioned that i actually quit smoking  three months after the procedure to give myself the best shot possible at life?  Good luck to you and your mom and obviously i am still here posting on Medhelp and my ablation was a success.
Just Sign Me:  A Mom Who's Daughters  Will Always Be Her LIttle Girls No Matter How Old They Are..........................................
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187666_tn?1331176945
I doubt that her doctor believes that she doesn't smoke. No matter how many showers she takes or "clean" clothes she puts on before her appointment, the smell is still there. Even  on her breath and skin. My Dad tried that trick on his cardiologists for years, told them he stopped smoking after his first heart attack. He blamed the smell on my Mom who still smokes. But I'm sure they knew otherwise. Especially when he died of lung cancer 20 years later.

Even if they truly believe the odor is from second hand smoke, they'll be aware that her lungs will be compromised and will keep an eye on things.

She is an adult and is making her own choices as was mentioned. Gently remind her that the smoking may increase her risks during the procedure and let her know you're worried.
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As ireneo says, the doc undoubtedly has smelled cigarette smoke on her, and physicians know that patients routinely lie about this one, anyhow.  One of my friends is a plastic surgeon.  He tells his patients not to smoke for two weeks before surgery, and he says that the instant he starts to cut, he can tell which ones smoked:  They bleed all over the place, the tissue has an odd, 'friable' quality, and their recovery is longer.   He just works around it, and so far, no fatalities.

That said, if she were my mom, I'd quietly rat her out to the doc before she has the procedure.  It would be fairer to the physicians who will be working on her.  I've done this with my mom and with my MIL, too.
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