The aim of this study was to examine the effect of preoperative smoking cessation interventions on postoperative complications and smoking cessation itself.
Relevant databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of preoperative smoking cessation interventions. Trial inclusion, risk of bias assessment and data extraction were performed by two authors. Risk ratios for the above outcomes were calculated and pooled effects estimated using the fixed-effect method.
Eleven RCTs were included containing 1194 patients. Smoking interventions were intensive, medium intensity and less intensive. Follow-up for postoperative complications was 30 days. For smoking cessation it was from the day of surgery to 12 months thereafter. Overall, the interventions significantly reduced the occurrence of complications (pooled risk ratio 0·56 (95 per cent confidence interval 0·41 to 0·78); P < 0·001). Intensive interventions increased smoking cessation rates both before operation and up to 12 months thereafter. The effects of medium to less intensive interventions were not significant. Meta-analysis of the effect on smoking cessation was not done owing to heterogeneity of data.
Surgical patients may benefit from intensive preoperative smoking cessation interventions. These include individual counselling initiated at least 4 weeks before operation and nicotine replacement therapy. Copyright © 2009 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.