This study attempts to determine whether a nicotine patch will affect the patency rate of the femoral artery anastomosis in a smoking rat model. Twenty-four rats underwent a smoking protocol of 4 weeks of exposure to cigarette smoke in a smoking chamber at 1 hour per day, using a 1:10 dilution of unfiltered cigarette smoke. Each rat then underwent a femoral artery transaction and anastomosis. Postoperatively, the rats were divided into two groups of 12. Group I had no postoperative smoking or nicotine therapy. Group II had nicotine patch treatment only. The femoral artery was evaluated for flow 7-days postoperatively. At the time of anastomosis, the femoral arteries were smaller in diameter, averaging 0.5 mm (0.4-0.7 mm) as opposed to the normal 0.75-1 mm. All anastomoses were patent at 5 min when the wound was closed. No difference in patency rate occurred with the use of the nicotine patch.
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