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Pre-Operative Assessment

Alternative names

Preoperative Assessment; Preoperative Evaluation; Pre-operative Evaluation; Presurgical Assessment; Pre-surgical Assessment; Presurgical Evaluation; Pre-surgical Evaluation; Presurgical Consultation; Pre-surgical Consultation


Pre-operative assessment involves investigating whether a patient with medical conditions is able to tolerate surgical procedures. Patients with significant heart, lung, kidney, or other chronic medical problems are most likely to benefit from a pre-operative medical consultation by their primary care physician or by an internal medicine consultant.

Why the procedure is performed

Your surgeon may initiate a preoperative consultation depending upon your personal medical history and the nature of the surgery you are to undergo To help the surgical team determine the best timing for surgery based upon a patient’s medical condition. To help confirm whether a patient’s chronic medical problems are stable and what impact they will have upon surgical recovery. To help patients understand and plan for their post-surgical recovery. Pre-operative assessment involves a medical interview and physical examination conducted in a medical office. Your physician will be interviewing you to learn about how medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes may impact your recovery from surgery. The physician will document how these conditions were diagnosed, what records are needed to confirm these conditions, what treatments have been prescribed, and whether more testing is needed at this time to prepare you for surgery. The interview includes a detailed review of your medications, a review of past problems recovering from surgery or anesthesia, and a discussion of your physical activity level. The interview is especially designed to look for signs of organ system problems that could pose a problem with recovery from a successful operation.


Michota FA, Frost SD. The preoperative evaluation: use the history and physical rather than routine testing. Cleve Clin J Med 2004 Feb;71(1):63-70.

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