Why You Need a Preoperative Appointment

If you’re planning to have surgery, a visit for preoperative assessment is an important step along this journey of care. This gives your health care team an opportunity to gather vital information before surgery. The preoperative process may include lab work such as an EKG or X-rays.

What to expect at your preoperative appointment

When you visit AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care in Atlanta for your preoperative appointment, our team will review your medical history, including current medications, allergies, and previous surgeries. You can expect to have a physical examination, and your provider will order any relevant preoperative tests and review the results with you. You can discuss any questions and concerns during the appointment.

Importance of preoperative assessment

The purpose of the preoperative appointment is not to clear patients for surgery, but rather to evaluate patients to assess risks for surgery. The goal is for your provider to understand any risks related to your surgery that are the result of underlying medical issues. An effective preoperative consultation:

The complete preoperative appointment involves recommendations, including relevant prophylactic therapy to lower the risk of complications.

Reducing risk for surgical complications

The overall risk of developing surgical complications depends on various individual factors, along with the type of surgical procedure. For example, older patients are at an increased risk for surgical complications. This is largely because older patients tend to have one or more underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. Your provider will take this into consideration when conducting your preoperative appointment and may recommend adjustments to your medication regimen to reduce the risk for surgical complications.

Medical history and preparation

You can expect the preoperative consultation to take place a few weeks before surgery. Plan to talk to your provider about any past surgical procedures you’ve had, any history with anesthesia and the current condition the surgery is planned to treat. Tell your doctor if you’ve had any negative reactions to medications or anesthesia.

It’s extremely important to discuss any underlying chronic health conditions that affect the heart and lungs, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or congestive heart failure. Go over the medications you take, including over-the-counter medications and supplements. Certain medications increase bleeding risk and may need to be adjusted or discontinued before surgery to avoid bleeding complications.

Additionally, patients should tell their provider about their history with smoking and alcohol. It’s generally recommended that you quit smoking at least eight weeks before surgery to minimize surgical risks related to smoking.

The physical examination and preoperative assessment may reveal risk factors that you were unaware of, such as elevated blood pressure or heart murmurs. Older patients may receive a nutrition assessment to check for malnutrition.

Your provider may conduct laboratory tests, including a complete blood count, urinalysis, and blood chemistry profile. The results will help determine if preoperative intervention is necessary to lower the chances of developing surgical complications.

When you visit AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care for a preoperative assessment, you’re in good hands. It’s normal to feel anxious about a planned surgery. Staying informed about what to expect is an excellent way to make the most of your preoperative appointment. For more information, give us a call at 678-904-5611 or book an appointment online

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