Your surgeon will want to make sure you are ready for your surgery. To do this, you will have some checkups and tests before surgery.
Many different people on your surgery team may ask you the same questions before your surgery. This is because your team needs to have all of the information that give you the best surgery results. Try to be patient if you are asked the same questions more than once.
Pre-op is the time before your surgery. It stands for “before operation.” During this time, one of your doctors will ask you about your health over the years (this is called “taking your medical history”). Your doctor will also do a physical exam.
- Your surgeon or primary care doctor may do this.
- Try to have this checkup at least2 or 3 weeksbefore your surgery. This gives your doctors time to treat any medical problems you may have before your surgery.
- If you see your primary care doctor for your pre-op checkup, make sure your hospital or surgeon gets the reports from this visit.
Some hospitals will also ask you to meet with a hospital nurse during the week before your surgery. At this visit:
- The nurse will ask you many questions about your health.
- You may also have a chest x-ray, some blood tests, or an EKG during this visit. An EKG is a painless test that checks your heart.
You may also see your anesthesiologist the week before surgery. This is the doctor who will make you sleep and not feel pain during surgery.
Visits with Other Doctors
Your primary care doctor or surgeon may ask you to see other doctors to make sure you are healthy before surgery. This may be because you:
- Have other health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes
- Have risk factors for these or other conditions
Your surgeon will want to know that other health conditions you may have will not cause any problems during your surgery. Because of this, you may need to visit a:
- Heart doctor(cardiologist), if you are older than 55, have a history of heart problems (or family with heart problems, smoke heavily, have high blood pressure or diabetes, or are out of shape and cannot walk up a flight of stairs.
- Doctor who treats diseases of the digestive tract (gastroenterologist), if you have had surgery on your stomach, small intestine, or esophagus (the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach). You may also need to see a gastroenterologist if you have severe reflux, heartburn, or a hiatal hernia (a condition that causes food and acid from your stomach to flow back into your esophagus).
- Diabetes doctor(endocrinologist),if you have diabetes or if your blood sugar test in your pre-op visit was high.
- Sleep doctor,if you have obstructive sleep apnea (this causes choking or a stop in breathing when you are asleep)
- Doctor who treats blood disorders (hematologist), if you have had blood clots in the past or close relatives who have had blood clots.