A Brief Overview of Pre-Operation Physicals by Nathan Kiskila, M.D.

Board Certification: Family Practice

Board Certification: Family Practice

We see patients for pre-operation physicals and many of them share similar questions and concerns.  Here is a brief overview of what is required before a scheduled surgery.  A pre-op physical is necessary for anyone who has a scheduled surgery.  The pre-op physical should be performed  a few weeks before the surgery.  If a patient has multiple surgeries on the calendar, a pre-op physical is necessary before every single operation.

Pre-operation physicals often include an EKG (electrocardiogram), blood and urine tests, and sometimes a chest X-Ray. These tests are necessary for several reasons:

  • They help determine the operation risk.
  • They help the doctor to manage the patient during every step of the surgical procedure including:  pre-surgery preparation, during the operation, and post-surgery follow-up.
  • They assist with anesthesia choices.

A physical examination plus the patient’s clinical history will help doctors determine which tests are appropriate. The type of surgery and the patient’s medical conditions and medications will guide the physician to determine which tests should be performed.  An EKG is typically done for high and intermediate risk surgeries and those who have other health risk factors (i.e. the patient has a history of heart problems, high blood pressure, heavy smoker). Urine and blood tests are often done for patients with chronic conditions or for those who take medications which cause electrolyte imbalances. Blood tests may also be recommended for the following reasons: if blood loss is anticipated, the patient takes blood thinners, suspicion of kidney failure, or diabetes.  A chest X-Ray may be necessary if lung or pulmonary complications are suspected.

It is important to discuss any concerns with your physician.  All your questions should be answered before your operation.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.



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