Smokers that quit smoking before surgery had 41% fewer complications. The researchers found that each week of cessation increases the effect by 19%.Trials of at least 4 weeks' smoking cessation had a significantly larger treatment effect than shorter trials (P = .04).Smokers that quit had lower rates of total complications, fewer wound healing complications, and fewer pulmonary complications.
As noted by Clara and Chow (2nd reference, review of 1st reference article) (bold emphasis is mine):There was also no significant benefit or harm when the analysis was restricted to the three studies with biochemical validation of quitting, the researchers reported. The relative risk was 0.57, with a 95% confidence interval from 0.16 to 2.01.
While the review performed by Myers et al provides valuable information, it does not definitively answer the question raise……Physicians should ideally try to get their patients to stop smoking several months prior to their surgery. The appropriate advice regarding the optimal timing of smoking cessation for patients seen close to their scheduled surgery awaits further research.
Smoking in Facial Aesthetic Surgery Patients (December 28, 2009)