Episode 19: How to Prep for Surgery

Drs. Babak Azizzadeh and Andrew Schroeder discuss what tests and protocols physicians and individuals should consider before going under the knife.

Surgery can be overwhelming, particularly for patients who do not know what to expect at each stage of treatment. In this episode of the Smile podcast, globally recognized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Babak Azizzadeh discusses surgery prep with Dr. C. Andrew Schroeder, the former Clinical Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a Clinical Instructor of Medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. The doctors also provide tips and recommendations to help patients prepare for surgery.

What Tests Are Required Before Surgery?

Patients can be required to undergo a physical exam to qualify for surgery. The exam is used to determine if a patient is healthy enough to undergo surgery.

Routine lab tests are standard before surgery. These tests are used to determine if any medical problems are present that otherwise preclude a patient from surgery. If a lab test reveals a preexisting medical condition that was previously undetected, the patient may need to explore alternative treatment options.

Common lab tests performed before surgery include:

  • X-Ray: Helps determine the cause of an abnormal heart, chest pain, shortness of breath, and other cardiac issues.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): Tests the heart’s electrical activity.
  • Urinalysis: Helps diagnose kidney and bladder infections and diabetes.

Along with these lab tests, various blood tests can be performed prior to surgery. Blood tests can be used to assess a patient’s glucose and potassium levels and complete blood count.

How Should a Patient Prepare for Surgery?

A patient receives instructions that describe how to prepare for surgery. The instructions vary based on the surgical procedure.

Patients are asked to provide their doctor with a list of current medications or supplements before surgery. They may need to temporarily stop taking certain medications or supplements if they can potentially disrupt the surgery recovery process.

A doctor will recommend patients stop smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages in the days leading up to surgery. This is due to the fact that nicotine and alcohol consumption can prolong surgery recovery.

In addition, a doctor will teach their patients about all aspects of surgery. The doctor will explain when a patient should arrive, how long the surgery is expected to take, and what to expect in the hours and days after treatment. That way, patients can plan for their entire treatment.

Doctors encourage their patients to ask questions leading up to surgery. The time before surgery can be stressful, but doctors are available to answer patients’ questions. If patients reach out to their doctors for answers to their surgery questions, they can feel confident about their treatment. The result: patients can prep for surgery and put themselves in position to achieve the best-possible treatment results.

How Does a Doctor Prepare for Surgery?

A doctor crafts a detailed surgery plan tailored to their patient. The plan describes the steps necessary to help the patient undergo a safe, effective surgery.

Doctors also ensure that they have the equipment and staff necessary to complete a surgery as scheduled. They verify the cleanliness of the surgical setting as well.

Learn More About How to Prep for Surgery

For those who are scheduled to undergo surgery soon or are considering surgery in the future, Drs. Azizzadeh and Schroeder can provide assistance. The doctors want their patients to feel prepared for surgery. To achieve their goal, they are happy to offer guidance to help patients get ready for their surgical procedures.

In this episode of the Smile podcast, Drs. Azizzadeh and Schroeder offer insights into how they help patients prepare for surgery. To learn more about surgery prep, listen to our podcast.

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