What Does Pre-op Testing Look For? Is It Common for Docs to NOT Order Tests?

I am scheduled for a breast reduction later this month. I am 30 years old, relatively healthy- history of DVT, but heart tests in the past 2 years came up good. My PS has not ordered any pre-op blood or heart tests because she assumes I'm healthy. However, I've seen that even very young patients (early 20s) typically get these tests. Is pre-op testing standard procedure, or not as common as I think?

Doctor Answers 5

Preoperative Visit Breast Reduction?

Breast Reduction Preoperative Visit?
Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; this operation tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations performed.

You will find, that depending on the practice, your age, medical conditions, that the preoperative workup ( bloodwork, tests…) will vary.  Generally speaking, for a healthy young female the “necessary” blood work can be minimized.  A pregnancy test may be indicated.

It will be very important for you to communicate your goals, concerns, and questions with your plastic surgeon. I would suggest that you write these down before your preoperative appointment. In my practice, I ask patients to collect "goal  pictures”  of breasts which they like, breasts that are too big, and breasts that are too small as well.  I find that the use of pictures is more helpful than the words “natural” or "proportionate” etc., which can mean different things to different people.

Again, your preoperative visit is a time to address any concerns that may cause you preoperative anxiety. Sometimes, I find it helpful to arrange for preoperative patients to speak with postoperative patients as well.

Best wishes;  hopefully you will be very pleased with the outcome of your planned procedure.

Need careful medical clearance for breast reduction with a history of DVT.


Based only on what you say, I would get another opinion.  Patients with a history of DVT need to be handled with care.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Pre-op testing

Many years ago, all patients undergoing surgery had many blood tests.  What we learned is that those tests were not helpful and actually unnecessary.  Today, if a patient is healthy and undergoing an elective procedure, few if any blood tests are required.  If you have any questions or concerns, I would definitely recommend that you discuss these with your plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist.  Good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

No routine blood tests for cosmetic surgery

Testing guidlines have changed, and healthy individuals having cosmetic or elective surgery do not need blood tests unless there is a particular medical condition which should be checked beforehand. Part of hospital cost containment efforts is in eliminating unnecessary testing.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

What Does Pre-op Testing Look For?

We do not order any routine preop tests. We only order tests to define the current state of health in a borderline healthy patient and do not do any cosmetic surgery on a patient with significant health risks.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.