An irate man contacted me recently to complain he’d been turned down for back surgery because he’s a smoker, reports The Telegraph.
“It’s just not right,” said the Charlotte man, who suffers from chronic hip and leg pain. “I need this surgery. It’s to the point where I can’t walk around the block with my dogs.”
He acknowledged smoking is a “bad habit,” but after 35 years, he’s not sure he can quit. And he doesn’t think he should have to.
Smoking isn’t the only behavior patients may be asked to change as part of “surgical optimization” – the doctors’ term for getting patients in the best health possible before an operation to improve the outcome. Obesity and diabetes also decrease the chances of a successful surgery.
Thankfully, having the federal government supplying so many with their healthcare, we can start to help people make better decisions that will help them live healthier lives.