Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us

Tests Done Before Surgery

Many surgeons order routine lab tests before you are admitted to the hospital or before certain outpatient procedures. The tests help find possible problems that might complicate surgery if not found and treated early. Some of the most common tests done before surgery include:

  • Chest X-rays. X-rays can help diagnose causes of shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and certain fevers. They can also help diagnose abnormal heart, breathing, and lung sounds.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). This test records the electrical activity of the heart. It shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias), finds heart muscle damage, and helps find the cause of chest pain, fluttering heartbeats (palpitations), and heart murmurs.

  • Urinalysis. This test can help diagnose kidney and bladder infections, and diabetes. Certain types of urinalysis can also find illegal drugs in the body.

  • White blood count. This test can help diagnose certain fevers and infections. It can also find out if a person is using medicines that affect white blood counts.

You may also need one or more of the following blood tests before surgery:

  • Glucose. This test measures your blood sugar levels.

  • Potassium. This test measures the amount of potassium, sodium, and other electrolytes in your blood. These chemicals help regulate heart rhythms and other body functions.

  • Complete blood count (CBC). This test checks for a low number of red blood cells (anemia) and infection.

  • Coagulation studies (PT/PTT). These tests find out how well your blood clots.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about any of the tests he or she orders for you.

Online Medical Reviewer: Demuro, Jonas, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Karlin, Ronald, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2016
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
About StayWell

Our web site is designed to provide general information to educate users about programs and services, which may be available through our hospitals. The web site is not intended to provide medical advice nor should the information be used to attempt to determine the presence, absence or severity of any illness or medical condition which may be perceived or experienced by the user of this site. If you have or suspect you may have an illness or condition which you believe requires medical attention, we recommend you call your primary care physician. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency please call "911" (or your local medical emergency number) or seek immediate care from the nearest hospital Emergency Department. The provision of information to users of this web site is not intended as an inducement or to otherwise influence a person's decision to order or receive any item or service from a particular provider, practitioner or supplier that is reimbursable under Medicare, a state healthcare program (e.g., AHCCS) or any other healthcare plan.

Physicians are members of the medical staff at each facility, but are independent contractors who are neither employees nor agents of Palmetto General Hospital; and, as a result, Palmetto General Hospital is not responsible for the actions of any of these physicians in their medical practices.