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Importance of Preoperative Evaluation

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    The medical evaluation before surgery is an important part of any surgical procedure as it provides an objective and scientific method to assess the necessity or suitability of the surgery, as well as the evaluation of its benefits and risks, thereby assisting in making an informed decision.

    A preoperative consultation also helps outline a detailed surgical plan and effectively minimize risk factors before the intervention. This improves patient safety and outcomes by providing better care and reducing the length of hospital stay.

    This procedure allows for the determination of the patient’s overall health and physical condition. This way, the physician or surgeon can accurately plan and estimate the severity of the problem, the type of anesthesia required, medical history, test results, and the general condition of the person undergoing the intervention.

    What happens during a preoperative consultation?

    The consultation process involves an initial assessment that includes an in-depth discussion with the surgeon or surgical team about your medical history, current medication, and any pre-existing conditions.

    Possible risks, benefits, and treatment options will be discussed, along with the step-by-step procedure, type of anesthesia, post-operative care in the first few hours after surgery, and even the physiotherapy plan.

    During this consultation, the necessary preoperative steps that the patient must follow before undergoing surgery will also be established, along with everything related to the day of the operation.

    Since not all surgical procedures are elective, the urgency and type of proposed operation must be considered, as well as the patient’s risk during surgery. Here are some of the tests that are performed before surgery:

    Medical History

    In this stage, a general review of the patient’s conditions is conducted through an interview. Relevant information includes: current symptoms suggesting active heart or lung disease; risk factors for bleeding, hemorrhage, thromboembolism, infections, and cardiac diseases; disorders; allergies; current use of medications; previous surgeries and anesthesia; history of sleep apnea or excessive sleep obstruction.

    If necessary, a permanent urinary catheter may be required, and patients should be asked about previous urinary retention and prostate surgery.

    Que Se Realiza En Una Consulta Preoperatoria

    Physical Examination

    The physical examination should focus not only on the areas affected by the surgical procedure but also on the heart, lungs, and signs of ongoing infection.

    If an epidural or spinal anesthesia is to be performed, it is essential to evaluate the patient’s condition and check for any abnormalities that may hinder or complicate the anesthesia in the back.

    Ancillary Studies

    In general, a complete blood count and urinalysis are performed.

    Electrolytes, serum creatinine, and plasma glucose are determined unless patients are very healthy and under 50 years of age.

    Coagulation studies and bleeding time tests are only necessary if patients have a history of such conditions.

    Chest X-ray is done only in patients with symptoms or risk factors for underlying cardiopulmonary disease.

    Pulmonary function tests may be conducted if patients have chronic lung disease.

    Depending on the case, other studies or complementary examinations may be ordered.

    Preoperative tests should be individualized and based on each patient’s specific case. Although there may be general tests recommended for everyone, it is crucial to treat each patient according to their medical history in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the patient, achieve the expected results of the intervention, and reduce potential risks.

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