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Pre-Operative Clearance

Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics

Internal Medicine & Family Medicine & Pediatrician located in Arlington, VA

Many surgeries require a pre-operative clearance exam to ensure you’re healthy enough to withstand anesthesia, the procedure, and recovery. At Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Arlington, Virginia, Mary Ellen Gallagher, MD provides these exams to spare you unnecessary testing and other hassles associated with preparing for surgery. Call or schedule your pre-operative health review and clearance appointment online today.

Pre-Operative Clearance Q & A

What is pre-operative clearance?

If you haven’t had a physical within the month before a scheduled elective or required surgery, you’ll need to schedule a pre-operative clearance exam. 

Pre-operative clearance minimizes the chance that you experience a complication related to your procedure. It involves a comprehensive check of your cardiac, pulmonary, and immune systems. 

As many as 17% of patients experience some kind of complication with surgery. These might include issues involving the cardiac or respiratory systems or an infection.

The well-trained staff determines if these systems are healthy enough for you to undergo surgery. They are familiar with the complications and risks associated with most surgical procedures. They have an understanding of how acute and chronic conditions affect your experience during and after surgery. 

Why is it required to have pre-operative clearance?

In addition to clearing you for surgery, a pre-operative clearance exam also identifies any patients that may be at a higher risk of complications during surgery. This allows the doctors to take all necessary steps before your procedure to reduce your chance of experiencing any additional problems.

Pre-operative clearance can also decrease the length of your hospital stay and prevent any last-minute postponements or cancellations of your procedure. 

What issues may be identified during pre-operative clearance?

The providers thoroughly review your health history, family medical history, and current symptoms during a pre-operative clearance exam.

If you have a known heart condition, like unstable angina, a recent heart attack, or vascular or aortic surgery, the doctors may have you undergo special precautions before your surgery. They may require additional screenings like imaging tests or EKG (electrocardiogram)  prior to your procedure. 

Patients with respiratory disease, like COPD or asthma, often benefit from pre-surgical steroids or bronchodilators. If your nutrition status is lacking, the doctors may offer nutritional supplementation before and after your procedure.

The pre-operative clearance can also help you understand how to prepare for your procedure and adjust your medications in the days or weeks before surgery. 

Patients who are scheduled for surgery should consult Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics to make an appointment for a pre-operative clearance exam. Call the office or schedule online today.