A number of surgical procedures require pre-operative clearance before they can be performed. This pre-operative clearance may be done at the request of the surgeon, or may be performed by your doctor prior to giving a surgical referral. The goal of a pre-operative clearance exam is to evaluate your health and detect any unrecognized disease and risk factors that may increase the risk of surgery. Ultimately, we want to make sure that you can safely receive surgery. If necessary, we will propose strategies to help higher risk patients prepare for surgery and minimize their risks.

Pre-operative evaluations include a review of your health history and a physical examination, and often focus on risk factors for cardiac, pulmonary and infectious complications. They usually occur several weeks prior to the surgery itself. During the pre-op evaluation, you can expect to discuss:

  • The condition for which the surgery is planned
  • Past surgical procedures
  • Your previous experience with anesthesia
  • Chronic medical conditions (especially of the heart and lungs)
  • Medications, including any over-the-counter medications
  • Immunization status and vaccinations updates
  • Smoking history
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Social support available following surgery

Most outpatient surgeries also require pre-operative blood or urine tests, and some may also require chest X-rays or EKGs (electrocardiograms).

If a child will be receiving surgery, the evaluation will also include a review of their birth history, focusing on risk factors such as premature birth, perinatal complications, congenital chromosomal or anatomic malformations, and any recent infections, especially upper respiratory infections or pneumonia.

You will be provided with instructions regarding any current medications, smoking or tobacco usage, and other risk factors prior to receiving surgery. We will also work with you to minimize the risk caused by any pre-existing medical conditions.

Pre-operative evaluations must be completed within 30 days before your surgery. Your pre-op assessment is valid for 12 weeks, and you should schedule and receive confirmation of your date for surgery within that 12-week period.

For more information and to schedule a pre-operative clearance exam with John Abroon, MD, please contact our office today.