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prequalification for surgery FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Certain basic tests are done before surgery: a Complete Blood Count (CBC), urinalysis, and a chemistry screen. Often, a blood glucose test is done for diabetes, which is very common in people suffering from obesity. Except for the very young, all patients receive an electrocardiogram. Women may have a vaginal ultrasound. Many surgeons ask for a gallbladder ultrasound to look for gallstones. Other tests include pulmonary function testing, echocardiogram, sleep studies, GI evaluation, cardiology evaluation, and psychiatric evaluation.

Patients who have gastrointestinal symptoms, such as upper-abdominal pain, heartburn, belching sour fluid, etc., may have problems such as a hiatal hernia, gastroesophageal reflux, or peptic ulcer. For example, many patients have symptoms of reflux. Up to 15 percent of these patients may show early changes in the lining of the esophagus, which could be an early sign of esophageal cancer. It is important to identify these changes so that a treatment program can be planned.

The sleep study looks for abnormal stopping of breathing because of the airway being blocked when the muscles relax during sleep, which is linked to a high mortality rate. After surgery, you will be given pain-killing drugs, which affect normal breathing and reflexes. Airway blockage becomes more dangerous at this time. It is important to have a clear picture of what to expect and how to handle it.

Bariatric surgery will affect you for the rest of your life, so this is a decision that requires a lot of serious thought. For many people, the results are positive, but successful treatment takes dedication and commitment to a lifelong lifestyle change. Most psychiatrists will look at your understanding of the risks and complications of bariatric surgery and your desire to follow the basic recovery plan to see if bariatric surgery is right for you.

Medical problems, such as serious heart or lung problems, can increase the risk of any surgery. On the other hand, they also increase the need for surgery. The surgeon may not recommend gastric bypass surgery because of medical conditions, but those conditions will make a patient's health risks higher than average.

A clear picture of your health is needed before surgery. It is important to test your thyroid function because hypothyroidism can lead to sudden death after surgery. If you are diabetic, special steps must be taken to control your blood sugar. Because surgery increases cardiac stress, your heart will be tested. These tests will show if you have liver malfunction, breathing difficulties, excess fluid in the tissue, abnormalities of the salts or minerals in body fluids, or abnormal blood fat levels. 

Routine Test Definitions

A Complete Blood Count, also called a CBC, provides information about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood. From these results, doctors can evaluate and diagnose conditions such as anemia. To do the test, a healthcare professional will draw and test a sample of your blood.

A urinalysis will measure several different components of urine. Since factors such as diet, fluid intake, exercise, and kidney function affect what is in urine, this test provides useful information about general health and any health issues. The test requires a urine sample.

A chemistry screen gives your doctor information about your general health and shows any abnormalities. There are different variations of this test. The most complete version measures 20 substances in the blood. To do the test, a healthcare professional will draw and test a sample of your blood.

A blood glucose test measures the amount of glucose in the patient's blood. There are different ways the test can be performed. The fasting blood sugar test is done 12 to 14 hours after the patient's last meal. The two-hour postprandial blood sugar test is done two hours after a meal. A random blood sugar test is done regardless of when the patient last ate. A blood glucose test is used to see if the patient has diabetes.

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG or EKG, provides information related to heart function, indicating normal or abnormal function, damage, and other information. It is used as a primary test in diagnosing cardiovascular disease.

An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. It provides a very accurate and rapid visual of the heart that allows a cardiologist to evaluate overall health. Echocardiograms can also provide information about blood flow, valves, and contractions.

A cardiology evaluation is a series of tests to evaluate heart function. Tests may include auscultation (using a stethoscope to listen to the heart), blood tests for cholesterol, and electrophysiology tests (including electrocardiograms). Medical imaging technology, such as echocardiograms, is frequently used.

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