When you have an operation in the theatre, there are as many different tests and procedures done before the actual operation as afterwards, possibly more. But which of these tests and procedures should you be doing before the operation?
A test for a problem is any test that is designed to find some sort of illness or disease.
A test is designed to aid doctors with their decision-making to decide how to proceed with the patient.
The primary tests in this category are blood tests, which look for problems in the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the body; tests for blood fats, which show you or your doctor if your blood sugar is coming in too low; tests for sugar or cholesterol levels; vitamin D and body temperature; and EKG (electrocardiogram) which records cardiac activity.
Your doctor may also examine the patient’s teeth or blood vessels. Even if your doctor does not typically examine you, your relatives might do it on your behalf. This would be helpful, because there are more ways to study for disease and the more studies a patient may do, the better the chances that they will find something useful.
If a test sounds vague, it might not be necessary.
The test we always have before a serious operation is the blood count, which takes all of the red blood cells (both immature and mature) into account. The most common or classic symptom of anemia is anaemia, which means a lack of blood, since so many important components of the body are located in the blood.
If a problem is identified and a test is done, the test will be good for the short term, but also a harbinger of the more serious problems to come.
A vital test during surgery can be a CT scan, a non-invasive test which identifies problems or fractures in the human body using X-rays and/or computed tomography (CT). Most of the disorders that happen while the heart is in the operating theatre are very minor. The problems detected by the CT scan are treated by repairing or replacing broken tissue.
This test can detect, for example, a breaking of the femur bone, or a ruptured valve in the heart, or a tear in the aorta, the huge artery that runs through the chest. To confirm a diagnosis, the doctor will repeat the test at the end of the operations to see if the fracture is still there. If it is there, it means that surgery was successful. The tests are very expensive, usually between £300 and £500 for a patient.
If you or your doctor have any doubts about the diagnosis, the doctor will refer you for a more thorough examination.
Some of the other tests or procedures that you might get before an operation are: CT scans, cardiac blood pressure tests and X-rays of your renal arteries. Before my surgery, I had a CT scan and a cardiac blood pressure test to examine my heart’s function. After my procedure, I had my kidney arteries examined.
Prenatal and childcare tests are designed to determine how healthy your child is and how well he or she will do at school.
Test results from the tests are gathered in a kit and passed on to the child’s teacher and then are included in the school’s report on the child.
Some tests after operations might help the doctor to monitor the patient’s recovery.
For example, a debridement (removal of damaged or infected tissue) might be necessary after abdominal surgery, and these tests, carried out after the surgical procedure, would help the doctor know if any further pain should be avoided, if there are any complications, and if they want to avoid operating again.
Sometimes the treatment of the operation might require procedures afterwards, such as removing additional scar tissue that might heal without surgery. These tests will help doctors decide whether the scar tissue should be removed or not. If the doctor does not need to operate on scar tissue, it will have to be disposed of.
If the problem indicates something else, and there is still scar tissue or bleeding, they might ask whether the healing went well, and if it is still bleeding, do they need to do more tests?