When you are having surgery your surgeon may order a series of blood tests. This is because your surgeon wants to make sure that you are in the best possible health for the procedure and to detect if there is any conditions that could cause preventable complications.
Pre-op testing is very individualised since every surgery is different and so are the patients. The tests your surgeon orders may be different from the tests described here, or you may have more tests than an average patient.
Many plastic surgeons would request test for nicotine prior to cosmetic surgery. This is because smoking and other types of tobacco use are known to increase scarring. If you test result showed positive for nicotine prior to plastic surgery, the surgeon may not perform the procedure.
Common Blood Tests:
- Chem 7: Also known as a chemistry panel looks at the levels of essential enzymes in the blood which also checks the kidney’s function. In addition, the glucose level in the blood is also obtained through this test which can help rule out diabetes.
- CBC: A complete blood count looks at the different cells that make up whole blood. A CBC is vital since it can inform the surgeon if the body is making the appropriate number of each type of cell, and it can also reflect signs of a current or recent infection (if there is any), bleeding, or clotting issues.
- PT, PTT & INR: These tests, known collectively as a coagulation panel, look at how quickly the blood clots. Should the result showed and elevated clotting times it can cause problems since bleeding is often expected during surgery. If the result shows significantly longer clotting times than typical, it may be necessary to delay surgery to prevent significant bleeding during the procedure.
- Liver Enzymes: Liver function studies are done to determine if the liver is functioning normally. The liver plays a role in removing anesthesia from the blood stream and normal blood clotting, it is essential to know if it’s functioning normally prior to the procedure. Elevated numbers can indicate the poor liver function or liver damage.
Medical tests before your cosmetic surgery
Before your cosmetic surgery, your surgeon would want to evaluate your overall medical health and determine if you are healthy enough for the procedure. If you are over 40 years old, you may benefit from a medical clearance which can include a chest x-ray and ECG. If you have active medical problems a medical clearance from the physician is necessary.
The blood tests listed here are among the most common, and may be performed after your surgery is completed in addition to any pre-surgery screening that is done. Having blood drawn does not mean there is a problem, it is often done to spot an issue before it becomes serious.
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