It's No Toke: Smoking Marijuana Before Surgery Can Be Dangerous
With recreational Marijuana use becoming legalized or decriminalized in states throughout the country, it seems as though more people are using it than ever before. Either that, or people just feel more comfortable admitting to using it. In a 2017 study, the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that at least 1 in 7 Americans have smoked marijuana, or currently do smoke marijuana on a semi-regular basis. That’s a large portion of the population (all things considered). While there are definitely certain medicinal benefits for people who are prescribed medicinal marijuana for various reasons, the recreational use of marijuana can also have adverse effects in other situations. One of those situations involves smoking marijuana prior to any surgical procedure. Let’s put all of that information into perspective however:
According to the US National Library of Medicine (USNLM), “Marijuana consumption is estimated as upwards of 9.5% of the U.S. adult population.” That same study also found that some patients who used Marijuana prior to their surgeries (within a 24-48 hour period) also experienced some of the following issues or symptoms (according to the USNLM):
- Surgeons noticed that marijuana increased cardiac workload, myocardial infarctions, and strokes in younger chronic users.
- Surgeons noticed that Cannabis caused similar pulmonary complications to those of a tobacco smoker. Smoke inhalation of course is the common theme in this case.
- Surgeons noticed that Marijuana caused airway obstructions, and in certain cases, increased anesthetic doses needed to place laryngeal airways.
- Surgeons have noted that marijuana use within 72 hours of general anesthesia is advised against for a number of reasons (including the ones mentioned above).
Studies have also shown that marijuana use can cause paranoia, memory loss, and can even leave patients with an increased risk of unnecessary bleeding during surgery. Marijuana use can be very problematic to surgeons for a number of serious reasons. But they are even more problematic to the patients who are receiving any type of treatment from a surgical procedure. Being fully aware of any possible dangers or drawbacks associated with marijuana usage can help make your surgery a smooth and easy procedure for both you and your surgeon.
Ultimately, it’s up to the patient to be completely upfront with their surgeon prior to any procedure. The more you keep from any medical professional, the more there is a likelihood of some possible consequences during or following your procedure. Abstaining from any form of marijuana or cannabis at least 30 days (or more) prior to any surgical procedure can help greatly reduce your risk of having any complications. Dr. Ariel Ostad MD PC is recognized as one of New York City’s SuperDoctors and has been recognized by NYTopDocs as one of the best doctors around in 2019. Dr. Ostad takes pride in being the top Cosmetic, Laser, and Dermatologic Surgeon in NYC. Dr. Ostad also takes pride in helping each and every one of his patients feel comfortable and informed prior to getting any treatment or procedure. If you’re in need of expert Dermatologic care within the New York City/Tri-State Area, don’t wait to get treatment. Call (212) 517-7900 today and set up an appointment with one of our experts today!