What is surgical clearance and why do I need it?
Patients are required to get surgical clearance prior to plastic surgery to ensure you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure safely. This is especially important for patients who have pre-existing medical conditions or who are taking medications that could increase the risk of complications during surgery.
Surgical clearance typically involves a medical evaluation, including a physical exam, review of medical history, and possibly lab tests and imaging studies. The goal of this evaluation is to identify any underlying health issues that could increase the risk of complications during surgery and to make sure that the patient is in good overall health. The physician performing the clearance will assess your overall health, including their cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological systems.
Why do you need surgical clearance for cosmetic surgery?
Cosmetic surgeries are still surgery. Each surgery a patient undergoes involves inherent risks. Just like any other surgical procedure, carry the risk of complications, such as bleeding, infection, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Patients who have underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, may be at a higher risk of complications during or after surgery. Therefore, obtaining surgical clearance is essential to assess your risks and identify any potential issues that need to be addressed before surgery.
What testing is required?
Required testing varies depending on your age, existing medical conditions and the surgery being performed. Here is a breakdown of what we require prior to your surgery. Our goal is to make sure your health is our number one concern, this includes not only your physical health but also your psychological health.
CBC-Complete Blood Count
This test is required for all patients going under anesthesia.
A CBC blood test, also known as a complete blood count, is a common blood test that measures different components of the blood. The CBC blood test measures several components of the blood, including:
- Red blood cells (RBCs): This test measures the number and size of red blood cells in the blood. Low RBC counts may be a sign of anemia, while high counts may indicate an underlying medical condition such as polycythemia.
- White blood cells (WBCs): This test measures the number of white blood cells in the blood. High WBC counts may indicate an infection, while low counts may suggest a weakened immune system.
- Hemoglobin: This test measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood, which is a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. Low hemoglobin levels may indicate anemia or other medical conditions.
- Hematocrit: This test measures the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. Low hematocrit levels may indicate anemia, while high levels may suggest dehydration.
- Platelets: This test measures the number of platelets in the blood. Platelets are responsible for blood clotting, and low platelet counts may increase the risk of bleeding.Overall, the CBC blood test provides a comprehensive picture of a person’s blood health and can help diagnose a range of medical conditions, including anemia, infections, and blood disorders.
History & Physical
This test is also required for all patients going under anesthesia.
A history and physical (H&P) is a comprehensive medical evaluation typically performed by a healthcare provider, such as a physician or nurse practitioner. This evaluation includes a thorough review of your medical history and a physical examination.
During the medical history portion of the evaluation, the healthcare provider will ask you questions about their medical history, including their current and past health conditions, medications, allergies, and family history of medical problems. They will also ask about the patient’s lifestyle habits, such as their diet, exercise routine, and tobacco and alcohol use.
The physical examination that follows the medical history includes a head-to-toe assessment of the patient’s body. The healthcare provider will examine the patient’s vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature, and assess the function of the patient’s organs, such as the heart, lungs, and abdomen. They will also check the patient’s skin, eyes, ears, nose, and throat, as well as their musculoskeletal system.
An EKG, also known as an electrocardiogram, is a non-invasive test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. This test is used to evaluate the heart’s rhythm and detect any abnormalities in its function. During an EKG, electrodes are attached to the skin of the chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes detect the electrical signals produced by the heart and transmit them to a machine that records the activity. The resulting graph, called an electrocardiogram, shows the heart’s electrical activity as it beats.
The EKG provides important information about the heart’s rhythm and function, including:
- Heart rate: The EKG can calculate the heart rate by measuring the time between heartbeats.
- Heart rhythm: The EKG can detect abnormal heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.
- Conductivity: The EKG can identify abnormalities in the heart’s electrical conduction system, which can cause irregular heart rhythms.
- Heart damage: The EKG can detect signs of heart damage, such as a heart attack, by showing changes in the heart’s electrical activity.
This testing is only required for patients over the age of 45.
A chest x-ray is a medical imaging test that uses ionizing radiation to produce images of the lungs, heart, and other structures in the chest. The x-ray machine emits a small amount of radiation that passes through the body and is absorbed differently by different tissues, creating an image that can be used to identify any abnormalities or conditions in the chest.
A chest x-ray may be needed prior to surgery for a few reasons. First, it can help identify any lung or heart conditions that may increase the risk of complications during surgery, such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or heart failure. Second, it can help detect any foreign objects, such as pacemakers or other medical devices, that may interfere with the surgery.
Any of these findings could affect your surgery and healing after surgery.
Mammography is required for all patients over the age of 40, who plan to have any kind of breast surgery. This testing must be completed within a year of your surgery date.
A mammogram is a type of medical imaging test that uses low-dose X-rays to create detailed images of the breast tissue. It is commonly used as a screening tool for breast cancer, as it can detect small abnormalities in the breast tissue that may be indicative of cancerous growths.
Prior to breast surgery, it is necessary to perform a mammogram to ensure that there are no suspicious abnormalities in the breast tissue that could potentially affect the surgical procedure. If there are any abnormalities present, such as a suspicious lump or mass, further testing or treatment may be necessary before the surgery can proceed. Additionally, a mammogram can help the surgeon plan the surgical approach and determine the extent of tissue that needs to be removed.
When do I need to have clearance testing performed?
At our office we require our patients to complete surgical clearance three weeks prior to their surgery date. This is to ensure results come back within plenty of time but also to make sure your results are an accurate representation of your current health condition. It also allows us to make any necessary adjustments to the surgical plan to minimize the risk of complications.
How much does surgical clearance cost?
Pricing for surgical clearance varies based on the facility you choose to complete it at. Sometimes patients are able to complete surgical clearance at their primary care physicians office while others choose to complete it at an Urgent Care facility. We personally recommend Jupiter Medical Center Urgent Care for our patients. They can complete all testing in one office visit for a flat cost of $335.
Mammography is normally covered by most insurance plans as part of your yearly evaluation.