Clinical Case Database / Category: Clinical Care

Preoperative assessment of the surgical patient

Publication details

Dr Kamen Valchanov, Dr Andrew Klein
Foundation Years Journal, volume 6, issue 5, p.24 (123Doc Education, London, May 2012)


The term pre-operative assessment implies that surgery has been planned, and that the patient should be prepared for the operation. However, the definition of pre-operative assessment has evolved, especially as new technology has become available to aid medical assessment. As well as this, patients are now usually admitted to hospital on the day of surgery, and pre-operative assessment has therefore been significantly expanded in its scope. It now encompasses all interventions aiming at evaluating the health state of an individual patient, assessing risks, and recommending best perioperative management, as well as communicating this plan with the patient and the multi-disciplinary team. In this article we will discuss the value of pre-operative assessment and some of the key points of this work. We will also illustrate this with some examples from real patients.

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Dr Kamen Valchanov


Dr Andrew Klein

Consultants in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care,
Papworth Hospital,
CB23 3RE


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