North Tyneside CCG News

Statement about referrals for planned operations for people

Wed 12th August 2015

Dr John Mathews, North Tyneside GP and GP chair of NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“We want to make sure people who have planned operations have the very best chance of recovering well from them and having a general anaesthetic is more risky if you are severely overweight or if you smoke.

“For people who need major surgery such as joint replacements like knees and hips, we are asking them to try to lose weight or to try to stop smoking before they are referred for their surgery as part of the overall management of their care.

“There is evidence that if you stop smoking before a planned operation you are likely to have a better result with less complications and recover more quickly – this is supported by NICE guidance and many hospitals are already introducing this policy themselves with Stop before the Op campaigns.

“Research shows that obese patients have higher rates of surgical site infection, blood clots, a higher risk of bleeding and other complications and are more likely to have a worse outcome.

“We know losing weight or quitting smoking can be difficult, so support will be provided through health improvement services for weight management or stop smoking services. This is for people who have a BMI of 40 or over.

“This does not apply to emergency surgery, urgent or cancer referrals.”