A number of preoperative exams can help a doctor understand the overall condition of a patient prior to undergoing surgery. It can determine if extra safety measures should be taken to ensure the patient makes it through surgery safely.
What is Involved?
Your habits and health history can greatly affect the outcome of your operation. Your primary care doctor will often start with a basic health exam. You may fill out a complete medical questionnaire regarding medical history, any drugs you take, tobacco and alcohol use, drug allergies and eating habits. The doctor may order a full blood panel to check for conditions that can affect recovery time.
Are You at Risk?
If a patient is considered at risk due to a family history of heart disease, or a previous heart attack, for example, a doctor may order an EKG or chest X-Ray. Patients over 55 are often required to see a cardiologist for a thorough evaluation. Women of child-bearing age may be required to take a pregnancy test.
Other Pre-Op Tests You May Need
- Respiratory testing if breathing difficulty is suspected or the patient is obese where intubation may be adversely affected
- Gastrointestinal testing if the patient has chronic digestive issues
- Cross-match blood testing to determine blood type
What Your Primary Care Doctor Can Do for You
Your primary care doctor may not be in the operating room, but he or she is a vital part of a successful surgery, sharing vital information with surgeons, and involved in follow-up care. Your doctor can order additional specialized testing to ensure a safe surgery and recovery.
As soon as your surgery is scheduled, call for fast (often same-day) appointments with a caring and highly-trained physician who can help ensure that your surgery is a success.