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Going for tummy tuck, smoke marijuana and unable to give up. Is it safe before surgery?

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Addiction Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 1486 Questions
Hi there I am in desperate need of your advice ! I'm going to Bangkok for a tummy tuck on 3 weeks, I am a half a packet a day smoker and I also smoke about 3 joints of marajuana a night also , I am finding it extremely unbeatable to give up the marajuana ! Is it really that bad to continue to smoke just one joint a night up until my surgery I should I get a prescription of Valium and take 2 of those at night instead ?? I really need your help
Posted Tue, 1 Oct 2013 in Drug Abuse
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 39 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Cut down as much as possible.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome to Healthcare Magic!

Ideally both cigarettes and joints should be stopped prior to surgery because both can hamper the process of healing and cannabis also causes rapid heart beat which may create problems in anaesthesia.

The best thing for you would be to quit both completely. But since you are finding it difficult to quit, I suggest that you lower down your intake as much as you can. Ask the surgeon who will be operating you to prescribe you a benzodiazepine as pre-medication for at least a couple of days before surgery. Then make sure you are completely abstinent for at least a couple of days before surgery.

The option of Valium that you suggested is viable if it helps combat your craving. I am not sure if it will work because it has a different mechanism of action than both nicotine and cannabis. But if it works for you and if you are able to sustain on it from now till the surgery, then it is good enough. However, you will need to be careful to ensure that you do not end up becoming dependent on Valium instead of marijuana.

There is one more thing that you can do and that is to drop a line to your surgeon in Bangkok and find out what his views are. I do not feel that he will refuse to operate till you are completely abstinent. Since medical tourism is being promoted very much in Thailand, I am sure they will do their best to ensure that you do not face any problems.

Hope this answers your query. Please feel free to ask if you need any clarifications.

Best wishes for your surgery.

Dr Preeti Parakh
MD Psychiatry
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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