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The materials listed below were developed by Consumer Reports in partnership with medical specialty societies.
—Tiene dolor fuerte y sensibilidad en el área alrededor de la nariz y los ojos.
—Tiene señales de una infección en la piel, como una erupción que se siente caliente, enrojecida y que se extiende con rapidez.
—Tiene una fiebre de más de 102º F.
In this case, make sure your surgeon has a low complication rate for people without symptoms. It should be less than three percent, and preferably much lower. You can find more information at www.consumerreports.org/ health/doctors-hospitals/hospital-ratings.htm.
If you’re going to have surgery, you may have blood and urine tests first. These tests may be helpful if you have certain health conditions or diseases. For example, if you have a blood-clotting problem, a test can show if you’re at risk of too much bleeding during surgery.
But most healthy people don’t need the tests, especially before low-risk surgery. Here’s why:
The tests usually aren’t helpful for low-risk surgery.
Many healthy people have routine lab tests before surgery. In these cases, test results rarely change their surgery or make it safer.
The tests are especially unnecessary before low risk surgery—such as eye, hernia, or skin surgery, or a breast biopsy. In these and many other surgeries, the risk of complications is very low.
The lab tests can lead to more tests.
Blood and urine tests are very safe, but they can cause false alarms. This can lead to anxiety and more tests. And it can needlessly delay your surgery. For example, one test may be followed up with a repeat test, an ultrasound, a biopsy, or a test that exposes you to radiation, such as an X-ray or CT scan.
The costs can add up.
Your health plan may not pay for the tests if you do not have a specific medical need for them. If this happens, you may need to pay for them. It costs about $137 for a routine set of lab tests before surgery, according to HealthcareBlueBook.com.
Some people get the tests again before surgery, even though they have had recent tests. This is not usually necessary, and may mean that you pay twice.
When are the lab tests a good idea?
If you have certain health conditions or diseases, or your medical history shows the need, the tests may give your doctor helpful information. For example:
You may also need the tests before a major operation such as heart, lung, or brain surgery.
Based on the test results, your doctor may watch your condition more closely during or after your surgery. You may need to delay the surgery until a problem is under control. Or your doctor may change the procedures and anesthesia.
The tests aren't needed before surgery.
A variety of imaging tests may be used to examine the heart. Echocardiography uses sound waves to take pictures of the heart. Nuclear cardiology tests use a small amount of radioactive material to show the blood flow to the heart. And a cardiac CT scan uses x-rays to look at the blood vessels and structure of the heart.
These tests can show if you're at risk of having a heart attack or another serious problem during surgery. The tests may show that you need special care during or after surgery. Or you may need to delay surgery until the problem is treated, or have a different kind of surgery.
But if you have minor surgery, the risk of heart problems is very low. Minor surgeries include any "same-day" surgery, such as breast biopsy, eye, or skin surgery. There isn't much more doctors can do to lower the risk. And having a heart-imaging test is not likely to lower your risk.
In fact, even major surgery is safe for most healthy people who feel well, are moderately physically active and do not have symptoms of heart disease. In this case, usually all you need before surgery is a careful medical history and physical exam.
Heart imaging tests have risks.
The tests are usually safe, and some can be done with little or no radiation. But if your risk of having a heart problem is low, the tests can produce false-positive results. This can cause anxiety and lead to more tests and delay of your surgery. For example, you might have a follow-up coronary angiography, which exposes you to more risks and radiation. The risks are low, but exposure to radiation adds up over your lifetime, so it's best to avoid x-rays whenever you can.
Imaging tests can cost a lot.
An imaging stress tests costs $500 to $2,000. A cardiac CT scan costs $500 to $600. A follow-up coronary angiography costs about $5,000. So the tests should only be used when the results would change the way your surgery is done.
When are imaging tests needed before surgery?
You may need an imaging tests before surgery if: