Is it safe to start the nicotine patch a few days before knee arthroscopy? I would be wearing it during the surgery. Does it affect healing time?

Yes, it is safe. Yes, it is safe to wear a nicotine patch during a surgery. Smoking certainly delays healing time in part by decreasing availability of oxygen in the blood, and abstaining from smoking with help from the patch will actually improve your post-surgical healing and is a very well-informed and health-conscious decision that you've made. is an excellent quitting resource.