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Pre-op Clearance

Washington Internal Medicine -  - Internal Medicine

Washington Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Chantilly, VA & Springfield, VA

Pre-op clearance is an appointment with your primary care provider a few weeks before your scheduled surgery. At Washington Internal Medicine, Sohan R. Varma, MD, performs comprehensive pre-op clearance to evaluate possible complications and risk factors. This, in turn, helps you get ready for your surgery and improves your recovery. Call the Chantilly, Virginia, office or arrange an appointment online.

Pre-op Clearance Q & A

What is a pre-op clearance?

A pre-op clearance is a medical visit before a scheduled surgery, mainly to verify that you're healthy enough to have surgery. 

Surgeons typically require you to complete a pre-op clearance within a month of your surgery. This gives you time to make any changes that may improve your chances of a successful surgery and recovery.

What does pre-op clearance include?

At Washington Internal Medicine, a pre-op clearance is an extensive health evaluation that includes:

Medical history

Your medical history reviews your health history. If you have a serious condition or a prior bad reaction to anesthesia, it could change your surgeon’s approach. 

You may need special treatments before and after surgery to reduce your risk of complications, and your medical history helps to identify those issues. 

Medication evaluation

Your appointment includes a review of all medications you’re currently taking, including over-the-counter medications and supplements. 

Some medications like blood thinners and aspirin can increase bleeding, so you may need to adjust those medications prior to your procedure. 

Nutritional assessment

A nutritional assessment is included because certain things increase your risk of surgical complications. For example, if you have a high albumin level (a protein produced by your liver), you could have complications during recovery. 

You may need to take supplements to reduce risk. If you're significantly overweight, you may need to change your nutrition and lose weight to increase the chances of a successful surgery. 

Lifestyle and habit evaluation

A lifestyle and habit evaluation assesses your alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, and other controllable habits. To minimize surgical complications, it's best to stop smoking at least a couple of months before your procedure.

Cardiac evaluation

Heart problems are the most common reason for life-threatening surgical complications. A past heart attack, unstable angina, severe valvular disease, and decompensated heart failure can lead to increased surgical risk. 

Your pre-op clearance identifies those problems through medical history, physical exam, and testing to better plan your surgery and recovery. 

Pulmonary evaluation

A pulmonary evaluation tests your lung function and assesses your risk of complications. A history of pneumonia, bronchitis, or other respiratory conditions before surgery can increase your risk, so you may need breathing treatments or other types of special preparation.

Other assessments may be conducted during your pre-op clearance at Washington Internal Medicine. 

What if I don't pass my pre-op clearance?

If you're not medically cleared for surgery, there's a valid reason for it. A lack of medical clearance simply means that you may need a little more time to address medical issues before surgery. It's a chance to improve your health and ensure a smooth recovery after surgery. 

Washington Internal Medicine offers comprehensive pre-op appointments as well as chronic disease management and wellness care. Book your appointment online or call the office to schedule.