Nicotine Test Before Weight Loss Surgery

by Barbare
(Maryland, USA)

I am scheduled to have gastric bypass weight loss surgery in mid-September. When I went for my consultation my doctor said that she was going to do a nicotine test a month prior to my surgery.

If my last day smoking cigarettes was May 22, would I be able to pass the nicotine test? I don’t know if the test uses urine, blood, etc.

Please let me know, I really need this surgery.

Comments for Nicotine Test Before Weight Loss Surgery

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Comment Highlights

Dangers of Nicotine Before Weight Loss Surgery

by: Jeff

Hi Barbare,

The amount of time that nicotine will remain detectable in your system after your last cigarette depends on how frequently you smoke and which test is used (i.e. blood test is more sensitive).

But the more important question should be how long prior to surgery is it "safe" to smoke?

The short answer is, the sooner you can quit before surgery, the lower your risk of bariatric surgery complications.

The effects of smoking on your surgery risks in general - including the increased risk of life-threatening blood clots - can last more than 6 weeks after your last inhalation of smoke.

In addition, smoking after gastric bypass surgery WILL CAUSE painful ulcers to form in your stomach pouch.

Good luck with everything, and please continue to come back and keep us posted on your progress!

Take care,



Smoking after Gastric Sleeve

by: Molly

I am a smoker. I never head that you can't smoke before surgery. Is that just for bypass surgery or for all bariatric surgeries?I expect to have the sleeve done, and soon. This is one of the reasons I am having my surgery done as a self-pay patient in Mexico. There are too many sticks to jump over in the States. They make us pay for their paranoia over being sued. I'll take my chances in Mexico. These surgeons do nothing else, all day long. They don't have any patient requirements other than you having overall good enough health to tolerate the surgery and a strong desire to improve yourself through weight loss. I don't need to have a psychological evaluation first, although a lot of my friends think I need one!!!!!


by: barbe

thanks jeff, I was smoking less than a pack a day on and off and a lot of it was due to stress. I really need this surgery because i am diabetic and have hbp

Drug testing

by: Jessica

I am in the University of Michigan bariatric surgery program and my medical evaluation is coming up and I was wondering if they drug test for marijuana and nicotine during that evaluation?

Drug Testing - Jessica

by: BSS Team

Hi Jessica,

The tests performed in a pre-operation medical examination will most likely include blood work (such as a full blood count and chemistry panel) and urinalysis.

So, long story short - YES, your doctor will know if there is nicotine or marijuana in your system at the time of the medical exam. What's more, they only care because it may impact your surgery and how they go about treating you.

We recommend being upfront and honest with all your doctors and nurses about any activities you've been engaging in, whether you believe they can cause surgical altercations or not.

We hope this was helpful!

Nicotine test prior to gastric sleeve

by: Pam

My doctor called and said to come in next week for a nicotine test. Will 7 days of no smoking be enough? I already stopped the day before he called because I was expecting to do it at pre-op.

I've read so many different things and a wide range of how long you need to stop prior to surgery, please if any one knows for sure, let me know. I would feel so stupid if I let cigarettes stop me from surgery.


by: Lindsey

Whether you have the sleeve, full bypass or the lap band the surgeons do a urine and or blood test to test for nicotine. My surgeon wants his patients to be 3 months nicotine free (this includes using the patch, nicotine gum, etc.). Only going cold turkey or using chantix will help you quit to the extent the surgeon wants you too.

nicotine test before gastric sleeve bypass

by: kathy cooley

I have done all the testing over the last 11 months and am down to the creatine test for nicotine, and the liver shrinking diet before surgery. I have tried and tried to quit smoking. I have quit again. Will I be able to pass this test in 2 weeks? I also have another 2 to 4 weeks of the liver shrinking diet ahead of me.Please advise.I am so heavy that I have issues with breathing and I am on o2 24hrs a day.I desperately need this surgery, but before they submit to my insurance company (Blue Cross, Blue Shield) I have to pass this test.

Nicotine test

by: Clare

My question is two part-I have a final appointment with the nutritionist tomorrow but I'm not sure what the protocol is for the nicotine test. Is it done right there? Or does it vary by doctors office?

Part two is about vaping-if I vape with 0% nicotine juice will it show up on the nicotine test?

I've tried so hard to quit, but it's been impossible!

Advice, experience, please!!!

doc knows i dont smoke still going to test?

by: Brandy

I'm one day one of my 2 week liquid diet and have pre-operative testing in the morning. I'm not sure what test will be done, but after reading some of these things I'm getting an idea of what will be done.

When I started my weight loss visits with my doc in April he knows I don't smoke, and smoking never came up again...will I have to still do a "smoking" test on top of everything else in the morning?

Nicotine test

by: Smith

You need at least 6 weeks.


by: Vanessa

I have stopped smoking two weeks prior to my surgery. I know I have a nicotine test coming up can anyone tell me exactly how long it takes before nicotine has left your system. I smoked a pack in about 2-3 days. Will this time frame be enough for me to pass ?

No nicotine test

by: Jill

I asked the surgical coordinator if they do a nicotine test before surgery. She kind of laughed and said no not at all. She said they just recommend you not smoking after surgery because it can cause ulcers but it's your choice whether you do it or not.

She said there are some insurances that make sure you are smoke free for 6 months ahead of time before the bariatric surgery but I am self pay. I have already passed the lab tests to make sure I'm healthy enough for surgery and I have a psychiatric test scheduled.

Last thing I have to do is have the doctor feel my liver through touch the Friday before my Tuesday surgery and tell me if it's too hard to perform surgery. However, the surgical coordinator said that doesn't happen very often and when it does it's usually really heavy peope. Although I am heavy for me, 240 lbs at 5 8, a lot of people are heavier.

Please Help!

by: Sarah C.

Please help! I'm going for an nicotine test b4 gastric sleeve.. my question is.. is this a one time thing or are they going to do another one morning of surgery just to make sure I haven't snuck any in between test in morning of surgery.. if anyone knows please let me know..

Already upset enough that cigarettes can be a reason of why I won't be eligible.. worst part I tried quitting Chantix was great then lost effectiveness really quick.

Nicotine test

by: Erica

I’m a social smoker, meaning I only smoke when I’m drinking.

Last time I did was 3 weekends ago.

My surgery is on May 8th. Would I pass the nicotine test?


by: Scotty

I'm scheduled for gastro bypass surgery next month. I use Copenhagen and have a dip once or twice a day. How long do I have to stop before I take my nicotine test?


by: Bariatric Diva

Okay, all of you are asking the same thing.

It is best to strip ALL nicotine completely, that includes cigarettes, dip/snuff, cigars, vapes, etc.

You need to stop at least 6 weeks before the nicotine test in order to pass it. Some surgeons and some insurances will require you to sign a promise to remain nicotine free for life, because nicotine causes ulcers.

Have a great day.

Edibles & the Sleeve Surgery

by: Kay

Are edibles traceable in the carboxyhemoglobin blood tests doctors require prior to surgery? I know that marijuana use will increase levels but does that apply to edibles, too? How long should you wait before re-taking the blood test for clearance?

Smoker and addicted

by: Kristen

I have smoked for over 35 years and I have done lots of drugs: pot, cocaine, meth and I have quit all of them before.

I haven't done cocaine since 1998 and I have done meth since 2004. I quit for 3 years, gained a bunch of weight, and I have a ton of health issues and because I was so overweight, having copd made it hard to breath so exercising was almost impossible and I also am diabetic and have high blood pressure.

I also have issues with my legs swelling but cigarettes I'm afraid is going to be so hard. I really want this so I know I can do a heavy smoker and stress is a big factor. If anyone has some good suggestions please let me know thanks so much.


by: Kiana

Has anyone been rejected before surgery because they have failed the nic test? If so what did they make you do?

Smoking before surgery

by: Sonya

Hello I just had the gastric sleeve done in Feb 2018 and you do have to stop smoking before if you don't you won't be able to get the surgery done that is the guidelines for my Dr.

Smoking is are habit that is hard to kick, I know it for myself. I wish I never picked up the first cigarette, it's very addicting.

I hope this helps anyone who reads this.

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