Posted by: Oppy | 2009-01-05

Pre-op blood tests

Hi Cyberdoc

Happy New Year!

My mom is having a total hip replacement in a couple of weeks. She had a full blood count, nose swab, creatin test. Aside from the obvious i.e. to see how ' strong'  her constitution is what exactly do they look for, what is the tests are not good i.e. positive and in what cases what they postpone the op.

I am very worried about her as she has a terrible operative history (complications with routine things) plus Diabetes Type II and Hypertension. All controlled on meds. What does the anaethetist do additionally for people like this, or is the monitoring of vital signs whilst you are under the same for everyone?

How do the know that for sure you are under and not still awake, I saw a scary documentary on this.

Heck, I tell her its routine and all will be fine, I believe it will but I am actually so nervous myself for her. Its her complications that get to me I think. The surgeon is aware of everything.

She is 66.

Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Oppy
All operations are risky, what the anaethetist tries to do with the blood tests is to identify possible risk areas and to be prepared to handle all complications that can develop in these areas. They check the kidney function, try to identify possible bacterial infections, check the red blood cell count ( they lose a lot of blood with the operation). He will also monitor her blood pressure and sugar levels closely during the operation and even give her insulin and a sugar drip if needed. They can see whether the patient is "awake" by monitoring her pulse, blood pressure and tearing in the eyes - trust me, if you are awake and scared, your blood pressure and pulse will go up suddenly! These episodes do happen but are very rare indeed. It sounds as if she has a doctor that is taking all the necessary precautions. One has to weigh up the risk of the operation with the benefit it is going to give her - not doing it may cause her to end up in a wheelchair. One also wants to do this earlier rather than later in life.
Let me know how the operation went?
Dr Bets

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