Tests Done Before Surgery
Many surgeons order routine lab tests before you are admitted to the hospital or before
certain outpatient procedures. The tests help find possible problems that might complicate
surgery if not found and treated early. Some of the most common tests done before
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 of 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.
You may also need one or more of the following blood tests before surgery:
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. It also
checks how well your blood clots.
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.