Urgent Care for Pre-Operative Exams

pre-op exams

If you are about to undergo surgery, your doctor will request that you get a number of pre-op or pre-surgery exams. These exams are designed to evaluate your current health condition and determine how well your body will deal with the stress of surgery. The tests will also tell the surgeon and his team whether additional or specific precautions need to be taken during the operation. For example, a patient with a heart condition or kidney problems might need additional medications or treatment before he can undergo surgery.

Pre-op Checkup

All pre-op exams start with a general checkup. This is often done a few weeks before surgery, so the doctor has a chance to deal with any ongoing medical issues. For example, if you have an underlying infection or something as simple as a cold, your doctor will have time to help your body heal so it can be in optimal condition for the surgery.

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The initial checkup will include:

  • Questions about your health, current and past
  • A full blood panel, a chest x-ray and possibly an EKG
  • If you have a family history of diabetes or are considered at-risk for diabetes, your doctor might recommend that you have a blood sugar test performed
  • Most people who are over 55 will need to be checked by a cardiologist before a surgery. The same is true for people who are obese, have high blood pressure or are out of shape. All these things increase the risk of complications during surgery, so it’s important to have them checked beforehand

Additional blood tests might be required if you have a history of blood clots or other blood disorders.

Additional Pre-Op Exams

If you fit into an at-risk category, your doctor might order additional, very specific tests. For example, a U&Es (Urea & Electrolytes) test will help your doctor determine whether you are at risk for ARF or acute renal failure during or immediately following surgery.

Knowing these risks in advance can help the doctor determine the drugs and anesthetics used during surgery, as some are riskier than others depending on your condition. Women might be required to take a pregnancy test before surgery. Some procedures (and especially the use of anesthesia) can put the fetus’ health at risk, so your doctor might need to weigh the pros and cons of the procedure if you do turn out to be pregnant.

Finally, patients with a family history or a diagnosis of sickle cell anemia might be tested for this as well. This will help determine not only the risk during surgery (due to anesthesia) but it will also help during the healing process after the procedure.

What to Keep in Mind

Because everybody is different, your pre-op exams might vary from the ones described here. Your doctor will decide what tests need to be performed after meeting you, evaluating your medical history, and taking into consideration your general health, your age and the type of surgery you’re having.

For example, if you’re a smoker, your doctor might decide you should have a lung function test or a heart stress test. On the other hand, if you’re having abdominal surgery, a colonoscopy might be needed. You might also require an ultrasound, a CT scan or an MRI scan.

If you have any doubts about the tests to be performed or questions about how long in advance you need to start those tests, ask one of our doctors at urgent care Rockville, MD. He will be able to tell you what to focus on and when to start preparing for surgery so you can reach the best possible outcome.