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Preoperative Assessment

Before a patient has surgery, it must be determined that the expected benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks. With a healthy patient, this decision is usually straightforward; but this determination is more difficult for an elderly patient with multiple medical problems contemplating a high-risk surgery. Sometimes it is useful to get other specialists involved in order to perform more sophisticated tests that will better define the extent of the disease. Such testing may lead to therapy aimed at improving the medical status of the patient in order to decrease the risk of the surgery. For example, a patient with poorly controlled asthma might benefit from a few days of steroids to bring the asthma under control. With the current trend of performing as many surgeries as possible on an outpatient basis, many patients now go to preoperative clinics where their medical history and current condition can be assessed and further evaluation or treatment initiated well in advance of the scheduled surgery.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1Anesthesia - Basics Of Anesthesia, The Unique Challenge Of The Elderly Patient, Preoperative Assessment, Intraoperative Management - Conclusion