Can I smoke after bunion surgery?

Recently I had a patient in the office and she had slow-healing bone after a bunion surgery. This may have been due to over-moving the joint, but it also could have been due to the fact that she smoked about five or six cigarettes a day. Just so you know if you have bunion surgery you are taking greater risks by smoking because this can reduce the skin and bone healing. The way I explain it to patients is that every time you take a puff of the cigarette, it constricts or makes the size of the blood vessel smaller all around your body especially to the area of your foot where you need healing and you need blood. This can slow down bone healing which is one of the leading causes and a reason for slow-healing or nonhealing in bunion surgery. That is why it is not really recommended to smoke if you are having bunion surgery. In the same way nicotine patches and other types of treatments with nicotine are going to have a similar effect because the nicotine can affect the bone healing as well.