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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Preparing for Surgery

Your doctor has determined you need surgery. Wondering what to expect? You have come to the correct place. Once you have selected a surgeon there are processes done to be sure you are safe to proceed with your surgery.

First you will have to have a physical done by your medical doctor. This is to assess your physical health. Your doctor will be assessing for risk factors such as heart, endocrine and lung disorders including asthma, emphysema, high blood pressure, heart attack, thyroid problems or diabetes to name a few. You will also be asked about any bleeding tendacies. Your doctor will get baseline vital signs, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature and oxygen level.

Your doctor will ask about your medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, supplements and herbs. It is important to know about herbal preparations you are using because there are some that may interact with anesthetics causing undesired effects. As a rule of thumb, herbal products should be stopped one to two weeks prior to surgery. Here is a list of commonly used herbs that should be mentioned to your doctor :                                                      
  • chamomile
  • achinacea                                                          
  • feverfew
  • flax
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • ginko biloba
  • ginseng
  • goldenseal                                                               
  • kava
  • St. John's wort
  • valerian

Your doctor will inquire about allergies to foods, medications and latex.  Many don't know that certain foods may cause a cross sensitivity to latex. Remember these- avacado, banana, chestnut, apples, carrots, celery, kiwi, melon, papaya, potatoes, tomatoes.

Next you will move on to having bloodwork drawn to obtain the status of your electrolytes such as potassium level and blood counts to assess for anemia. Depending on age you may be required to have an EKG done to assess your heart.

If all is well or at least controllable you will be scheduled for your procedure.

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