A pre-op clearance exam is an appointment that’s made prior to surgery. The pre-op clearance is generally done 1-2 weeks before the surgery, and its main purpose is to verify that the patient is well enough to have the surgery. Although a specialist may be the one doing the surgery, it's common for the patient's general health care provider to perform the pre-op clearance exam. Dr. Scarborough does many pre-op clearances, as he’s a designated family medicine provider who acts as a primary care provider for most of his patients.
The appointment can vary depending on the patient's specific state of health and on the surgery. Generally, a pre-op clearance appointment includes a medical history review, with a particular emphasis on past surgeries and on anything else that may be relevant to the planned procedure. Dr. Scarborough also discusses all the patient's current and past medications with them. Some medications must be discontinued prior to certain surgical procedures. Dr. Scarborough also cautions the patient about over-the-counter medications that may need to be discontinued prior to surgery, including aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and supplements. The patient's overall health, including heart health, are checked to make sure they're strong enough for surgery. If special preparations are required for the surgery, including fasting to prepare for anesthesia, Dr. Scarborough discusses them with the patient during this appointment.
A follow up exam is done after a patient has surgery. The appointment is usually arranged around 1-2 weeks after the procedure. Most patients have a follow-up with the doctor who performed the surgery, and then another follow up with their general health care provider. Dr. Scarborough examines the surgical area to make sure that healing is proceeding normally. Patients can ask questions or share concerns about recovery and healing at this time. If the patient is having specific issues that require a specialist’s attention, Dr. Scarborough coordinates with the doctor who performed the surgery to determine the best steps to take.
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