Prequalification for Surgery
What are the routine tests before bariatric surgery?
Certain basic tests are done before surgery: a Complete Blood Count (CBC), urinalysis, and a chemistry screen. Often, a blood glucose test is done for diabetes, which is very common in people suffering from obesity. Except for the very young, all patients receive an electrocardiogram. Women may have a vaginal ultrasound. Many surgeons ask for a gallbladder ultrasound to look for gallstones. Other tests include pulmonary function testing, echocardiogram, sleep studies, GI evaluation, cardiology evaluation, and psychiatric evaluation.
Why do I need to have a GI evaluation?
Patients who have gastrointestinal symptoms, such as upper-abdominal pain, heartburn, belching sour fluid, etc., may have problems such as a hiatal hernia, gastro esophageal reflux, or peptic ulcer. For example, many patients have symptoms of reflux. Up to 15 percent of these patients may show early changes in the lining of the esophagus, which could be an early sign of esophageal cancer. It is important to identify these changes so that a treatment program can be planned.
Why do I need to have a sleep study?
The sleep study looks for abnormal stopping of breathing because of the airway being blocked when the muscles relax during sleep, which is linked to a high mortality rate. After surgery, you will be given pain-killing drugs, which affect normal breathing and reflexes. Airway blockage becomes more dangerous at this time. It is important to have a clear picture of what to expect and how to handle it.
Why do I need to have a psychiatric evaluation?
Bariatric surgery will affect you for the rest of your life, so this is a decision that requires a lot of serious thought. For many people, the results are positive, but successful treatment takes dedication and commitment to a lifelong lifestyle change. Most psychiatrists will look at your understanding of the risks and complications of bariatric surgery and your desire to follow the basic recovery plan to see if bariatric surgery is right for you.
What impact do my medical conditions have on the decision for bariatric surgery, and how can the medical problems affect risk?
Medical problems, such as serious heart or lung problems, can increase the risk of any surgery. On the other hand, they also increase the need for surgery. The surgeon may not recommend gastric bypass surgery because of medical conditions, but those conditions will make a patient's health risks higher than average.
What is the purpose of all these tests?
A clear picture of your health is needed before surgery. It is important to test your thyroid function because hypothyroidism can lead to sudden death after surgery. If you are diabetic, special steps must be taken to control your blood sugar. Because surgery increases cardiac stress, your heart will be tested. These tests will show if you have liver malfunction, breathing difficulties, excess fluid in the tissue, abnormalities of the salts or minerals in body fluids or abnormal blood fat levels.