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Preparing for Your Hysterectomy Online Manual

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Quit tobacco product use

If you smoke, your goal is to quit smoking.


Quitting smoking before your surgery has many benefits for your health. It will:

  • decrease your risk of breathing problems from anesthesia
  • decrease your risk of getting blood clots in your legs
  • improve your body's ability to heal.

arrow points to link to page about tobacco cessation programsPrograms to help you stop smoking

The benefits of quitting happen right away and continue many years later.

For example, in:

  • 8 hours: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal and the oxygen level in your blood increases to normal.
  • 24 hours: Your chance of a heart attack decreases.
  • 48 hours: Nerve endings start to grow again; your senses of smell and taste improve.
  • 2 weeks: Circulation to your hands and feet improve; your ability to exercise is increased; your lung function increases up to 30 percent.
  • 1-9 months: Your cough, stuffy nose, and shortness of breath decrease; your energy level increases.
  • 1 year: Your chance of heart disease is cut in half.
  • 5 years: Your chance of a stroke is the same as a nonsmoker; your chance of dying from lung cancer is cut in half.
  • 10 years: Your risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker's risk.

Preparing to quit

  • Make a pact with yourself to quit.
  • Pick a date for quitting.
  • Write down your three most important reasons for quitting on a card. Carry the card with you or post it on the refrigerator and look at it several times a day.
  • Start reducing your smoking. Don't allow yourself to smoke in certain places.
  • Visualize yourself as a nonsmoker.
  • Plan your reward for each day you don't smoke.
  • Actually quitting

    • Get rid of all cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
    • Throw away your ashtrays.
    • Don't allow smoking in your home — if other family members want to smoke, ask them to go outside.
    • Avoid "high risk" situations: bars, parties and smoking environments.
    • Think positively. Believe you can quit and don't make a big deal of it.
    • Take it one day at a time. If you fall off the wagon, climb back on! Remember that even the most intense craving lasts only five to 10 minutes…so wait it out!

    Quitting aids

    • Talk with your health care provider about which way(s) to quit may help you the most.
    • Over-the-counter products include nicotine gum, nicotine lozenge (Commit™), and the nicotine patch (Nicoderm® and Nicotrol®).
    • Prescription products include Zyban®, nicotine nasal spray, nicotine inhaler, nicotine patch (Habitrol® and Prostep®) and Chantix®.

    Other ways to quit include hypnosis, acupuncture, delaying the first cigarette of the day, cutting down and quitting cold turkey.

    Need help?

    Talk with your health care provider about your best treatment options. You can also check with your insurance provider about quitting programs that may be available to you.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Preparing for Your Hysterectomy, gyn-ahc-95582

First published: 04/25/2013
Last updated: 04/25/2013

Reviewed by: Allina Health GYN (Gynecology) Care Council