why do they do blood work before surgery

Many surgeons order routine lab tests before you are admittedбto the hospital or before certain outpatient procedures. The tests help find possible problems thatбmight complicate surgery if not found and treated early. Some of the most common tests done before surgery include:
Chest X-rays. X-rays can help diagnose causes of shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and certain fevers. They can also help diagnose abnormal heart, breathing, and lung sounds. Electrocardiogram (ECG). This test records the electrical activity of the heart. It shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias), finds heart muscle damage, and helps find the cause of chest pain, fluttering heartbeats (palpitations), and heart murmurs. Urinalysis. This test can help diagnose kidney and bladder infections, and diabetes. Certain types ofб urinalysis can also find illegal drugs in the body.


White blood count. This test can help diagnose certain fevers and infections. It can also find out if a person is using medicines that affect white blood counts. Glucose. This test measures your blood sugar levels. Potassium. This test measures the amount of potassium, sodium, and other electrolytes in your blood. These chemicals help regulate heart rhythms and other body functions. Complete blood count (CBC). This test checks for a low number of red blood cells (anemia) and infection. Coagulation studies (PT/PTT). These tests find out how well your blood clots. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about any of the tests he or she orders for you. If youвre going to have surgery, you may have blood and urine tests first. These tests may be helpful if you have certain health conditions or diseases. For example, if you have a blood-clotting problem, a test can show if youвre at risk of too much bleeding during surgery.


But most healthy people donвt need the tests, especially before low-risk surgery. Hereвs why: The tests usually arenвt helpful for low-risk surgery. Many healthy people have routine lab tests before surgery. In these cases, test results rarely change their surgery or make it safer. The tests are especially unnecessary before low risk surgeryвsuch as eye, hernia, or skin surgery, or a breast biopsy. In these and many other surgeries, the risk of complications is very low. The lab tests can lead to more tests. Blood and urine tests are very safe, but they can cause false alarms. This can lead to anxiety and more tests. And it can needlessly delay your surgery. For example, one test may be followed up with a repeat test, an ultrasound, a biopsy, or a test that exposes you to radiation, such as an X-ray or CT scan.


The costs can add up. Your health plan may not pay for the tests if you do not have a specific medical need for them. If this happens, you may need to pay for them. It costs about $137 for a routine set of lab tests before surgery, according to HealthcareBlueBook. com. Some people get the tests again before surgery, even though they have had recent tests. This is not usually necessary, and may mean that you pay twice. When are the lab tests a good idea? If you have certain health conditions or diseases, or your medical history shows the need, the tests may give your doctor helpful information. For example: If you have a health problem that affects bleeding, you may need a blood test to find out if your blood clots normally. You may need this blood test if you bruise easily, use a blood-thinning medicine, had bleeding problems in an earlier surgery or dental procedure, or have a family history of bleeding problems.


If you have a disease such as diabetes, you will probably need to have a test to make sure it is under control. Women of childbearing age may need a pregnancy test. You may also need the tests before a major operation such as heart, lung, or brain surgery. Based on the test results, your doctor may watch your condition more closely during or after your surgery. You may need to delay the surgery until a problem is under control. Or your doctor may change the procedures and anesthesia. This report is for you to use when talking with your health-care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. В Use of this report is at your own risk. В 2013 Consumer Reports. Developed in cooperation with the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

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why do they do blood work before surgery
why do they do blood work before surgery