Most surgery centers and
hospitals have a before-surgery (preoperative) form for you to fill out. This form usually includes
questions about your medical history and current health. This
information helps the surgical team prepare for your surgery. They are trained
to provide you with safe care during your surgery.
- Talk to your surgeon about what kinds of
surgery you have had. Describe your recovery period, and be sure to mention any
problems you may have had.
- Describe any health problems you have,
- Tell your surgeon if you currently have a cold,
flu, or fever or have had one recently.
- It is important for you to
be honest with your doctor and tell him or her about any tobacco, alcohol,
illegal drugs, or medicines you use. This includes over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements, such as
St. John's wort and diet aids. Your use of substances or medicines may affect your reaction
anesthesia or pain medicines.
- Talk about
any physical restrictions you have, such as an artificial joint or limited
range of motion of your neck, arms, or
- Let your doctor know if you have any metal implants or
fragments in your body.
- Tell your surgeon if you
are or might be pregnant.
You most likely will complete the
preoperative form 1 to 3 days before your surgery. Before surgery, your surgeon may also ask you to see your regular doctor for an exam and possibly for tests. A surgeon may ask this to make sure that surgery is not likely to be too hard on you. Your regular doctor or your
surgeon may order certain tests-such as
urine tests, and blood clotting tests-to help
determine your overall health. You may also be scheduled for other tests, such
X-rays or an
electrocardiogram (EKG), if your surgeon thinks they
are needed before your surgery.
Your surgeon may include other
doctors in your care, depending on your other medical conditions. For example,
if you have heart problems, your surgeon may discuss your care with a
cardiologist. If you have many medical problems, your
regular doctor may do your physical exam before surgery. To help make sure that
no problems are missed, it can be helpful to have a doctor who knows you well
do this exam and your medical history.