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 6

Pre-op Testing

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It is very common to not need any blood work done before a cosmetic procedure. Many surgeons have chosen to opt out of preoperative lab tests because research by the American Board of Anethesiologists found that for young healthy patients that preoperative lab tests do not add safety to the procedure. If you are older or have additional medical issues then lab testing may be performed. Always be sure that you are seeing a surgeon that is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeon for the best outcomes.

Preoperative Visit Breast Reduction?

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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.

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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

Pre-op testing

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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 21 reviews

No routine blood tests for cosmetic surgery

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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 44 reviews

What Does Pre-op Testing Look For?

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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 29 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.