Preoperative evaluations help to determine if you are healthy enough to undergo surgery. Before your operation, you will be scheduled for a comprehensive assessment in the Preoperative (Preop) Center, conveniently located next to Admissions, just off the main lobby. The Center’s team consists of peri-anesthesia nurses, physicians and staff members from General Internal Medicine (Primary Care) and Anesthesiology.
Testing, with the exception of X-rays, takes place in the Preoperative Center. Testing includes an electrocardiogram (EKG), blood tests, and measurements of vital signs, such as breathing rate, blood pressure and heartbeat.
In addition to testing, a nurse will review your complete medical history, including medications and prior surgery and anesthesia. (This may be done on the phone rather than in person, depending on your medical history.) The nurse will also tell you what to expect before, during and after the operation. This is an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your surgery or anesthesia.
If you have a chronic condition that could complicate surgery, such as coronary disease, asthma or diabetes, a physician from General Internal Medicine may further evaluate you. This physician may recommend additional testing, a change in medications or postoperative care to help you achieve the best surgical outcome.
If you have had a problem with anesthesia in the past or have questions about anesthesia, you will meet with a Department of Anesthesiology staff member.
Being prepared physically and psychologically for surgery can help make your surgery a success. Studies have shown that preoperative visits lead to less time in the operating room, fewer canceled surgeries and shorter hospital stays.