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Pre-Anesthesia Consultation

A pre-anesthetic assessment is a service available to all patients and is usually performed on the day of surgery, prior to the surgical procedure. However, if special situations arise, a pre- anesthetic consultation can be requested, either by the patient or the surgeon. This consultation entails a thorough clinical assessment of the patient and precedes the delivery of anesthesia care for surgery. It is usually done on the same day that the patient comes into the hospital for their other pre-admission test.

During a pre-anesthetic consultation, information from multiple sources is considered, including the patient interview, medical records, physical examination, and findings from medical tests. The goals of the pre-anesthetic consultation include the following:

  • identification of clinical problems which may modify peri-operative care
  • evaluation of a known medical problem which may alter anesthesia care
  • formulation of specific plans and alternatives for anesthesia care

As a result of this process, the anesthesiologist may wish to consult with other physicians to clarify certain issues of concern or to obtain information or specialized tests relevant to peri-operative anesthesia care. On the day of the pre-anesthetic consultation, certain tests may be performed, including blood testing, electrocardiogram (EKG), and chest radiograph (X-Ray). The results of these tests may not be immediately available, as they are usually checked by the internist or medical doctor responsible for the pre-operative medical evaluation.

Overall, the pre-anesthetic consultation serves to educate the patient and clarify important issues. It is an opportunity to organize the important and relevant resources for peri-operative care, as well as to plan for intra-operative care, postoperative recovery, and pain management.

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