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One of the most important parts of any surgical procedure is pre-testing. We must know a patient’s medical history in order to provide him/her with the best care possible.

You will be asked many questions about your medical history. This is necessary to ensure your safety during and after surgery. Your anesthesiologist will usually do a brief physical exam focused primarily on your heart, your lungs and your breathing passage. Sometimes, a referring surgeon will find an unusual set of circumstances that warrants a visit with an anesthesiologist well ahead of the surgery to create a comprehensive plan for the ideal preparation for and performance of the anesthetic.

Recent Examination

Even though you may have recently had a physical exam, federal and state guidelines state that it is only considered valid for one week to 30 days. Patients who have had a blood test within the past month may not require additional testing except when there were abnormal results or the patient’s health causes continual changes in results. Chest X-rays and EKG results are valid for one year unless there has been a change in the patient’s health since the test took place.


Although your physician will provide specific pre-testing scheduling, you will likely be required to have it performed from 7 to 10 days before an elective surgery. This assures that all test results are still good at the time of the procedure. While pre-testing closer to surgery does not increase the risk to the patient, it does elevate the risk of postponing surgery due to abnormal test results. R.A. cannot provide anesthesia for a surgery or procedure if problems arise with pre-testing results, until these issues are addressed medically.