No single surgical procedure is like another, even for those having the same surgery. Why? Because your body and health is unique to you. Your surgeon customizes your plan based on your personal health, surgical needs, and goals so you get the best outcome.
This is why you need a presurgical evaluation. This exam isn’t about whether you have surgery or not, but to provide your surgeon with vital information about your general health so they can create an individualized plan.
At East Side Primary Medical Care, our experienced primary care physician, Dr. Daniel Klein, performs presurgical evaluations.
In this month’s blog post, we want to explain what you can expect during this exam and how you can prepare.
About the presurgical evaluation
Whether you’re having minor or major surgery, the procedure itself stresses the body. The presurgical evaluation is a physical exam that ensures you stay safe during your procedure.
The purpose of the evaluation isn’t to “clear” you for surgery, but evaluate your health so your surgeon can update your surgical plan to reduce risks, help shorten your hospital stay, and optimize your recovery.
Of course, we may find health issues that require attention before your surgery, so it’s best to schedule your presurgical evaluation about a month before the procedure.
What to expect during the exam
Your presurgical evaluation is a lot like any other physical exam. We check your height and weight and measure your blood pressure and heart rate. We also make a detailed list of all the medications you take and review your medical, surgical, and family health history.
We perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests to evaluate your health and look for issues that may affect your surgery, like an infection or anemia (low red blood cell count).
We may also perform an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check the rhythm of your heart and look for signs of abnormalities.
Our primary care provider uses the information he gathers during your exam to write a report that we send to your surgeon.
Referrals to other specialists
Some patients may need to see other medical specialists before they can have surgery. Our primary care provider determines what other doctors you need to see and coordinates these appointments so you get the evaluations before your surgery.
For example, if you have a heart condition, he may refer you to a cardiologist. If you have asthma, you may need to see a pulmonologist. These additional health exams provide your surgeon with more information about your health so they can make the appropriate adjustments to your surgical plan.
Why heart and lungs? Certain types of anesthesia lower your heart rate and lung function. Knowing your complete health history helps the anesthesiologist create a plan that reduces the risk of complications during your procedure.
We receive reports from the specialists and include them in the report we send to your surgeon.
A presurgical evaluation helps keep you safe during your procedure. Whether you’re having elective cosmetic surgery or need your gallbladder removed, we can perform the exam, make appropriate referrals, and order the right tests so your surgeon can create your plan.
Are you having surgery soon? Call our office today or book an appointment online. We also offer telemedicine appointments for certain conditions.