It is well known that surgery is associated with certain complications. The most common complications that occur after surgery are related to the heart, lungs or some type of infection. In almost all cases, when surgical complications occur, the hospital stay is prolonged, the cost of healthcare is increased and the recovery is prolonged. Thus, today it is routine practice for healthcare providers to perform a preoperative medical evaluation.
The goal of medical preoperative evaluation is to assess medical problems in surgical patients, to determine how best to manage these problems during surgery, to give clearance and to provide recommendations for post-operative care. On occasion, the surgeon requesting the consultation will have a specific question.
Preoperative medical evaluation is usually done two to three weeks prior to the surgery. The healthcare provider will determine the type of surgery, any past surgical procedures, experience with anesthesia, any recent infections, condition of the heart and lungs and use of medications. Many times certain drugs have to be discontinued or the dosages have to be reduced prior to surgery to avoid bleeding complications.
The doctor will also determine the immunization status, if the patient is a smoker and/or consumes alcohol. It is important to quit smoking at least 4-6 weeks prior to surgery to decrease the risk of lung complications. The doctor will also determine if the individual has any family support and if he/she will require assistance at home. Plans for assistance are usually made prior to the surgery so that there are no delays.
Besides routine blood work, the preoperative medical testing includes an ECG, urine testing, a urine pregnancy test in females and a chest x-ray. The two organ systems that are thoroughly investigated in preoperative testing in patients over the age of 55 include the heart and lungs. Complications from the heart and lungs can be life threatening and can prolong hospital stay. If the individual has any prior heart or lung problems a referral is usually made to a cardiologist and a lung specialist to ensure that the patient is stable to undergo surgery. Preoperative testing is vital in elderly people and can be lifesaving.
We perform preoperative clearance exams for major and minor surgery in the office. EKG’s, chest x-rays and laboratory collection can be done in the office at the time of exam. We will coordinate this exam with any consulting specialist that you may have in order to give you a comprehensive preoperative assessment and clearance.
Dr. Marina Gafanovich, MD is delighted to offer her Same-Day Priority service for Pre-Op clearances. Call 212-249-6218 to discuss your needs and schedule an appointment. We guarantee that you will be seen within 24 hours of your request.