Before you can undergo certain types of surgery, you may need to have a preoperative pulmonary evaluation done by a lung doctor (pulmonologist). An in-depth evaluation is an important step to identifying and enhancing conditions that increase a successful outcome from your surgery. It’s especially essential if you have a complex medical history regarding lung disease and breathing problems to receive medical clearance for your surgery.
Why Would You Need a Preoperative Pulmonary Evaluation Test?
A preoperative pulmonary evaluation test helps prepare you for surgery. When you are undergoing surgery, anesthesia is typically administered. In some cases, the results of the pulmonary evaluation may find that adding preoperative measures is necessary if it’s found that you are a higher risk patient for surgery.
Depending on what the evaluation finds, your surgeon may need to reduce anesthesia and modify other related ventilation aspects of the surgery that ensure gas exchange remains at safe levels.
The Benefits of a Pulmonary Evaluation Test
A preoperative outpatient pulmonary evaluation test helps with:
- Making recommendations aimed at minimizing risk during surgery
- Preparing high-risk patients for surgery
- Anesthetic choices for the surgery
- Minimizing postponed or canceled surgeries
- Decreasing the length of the post-surgery hospital stay
- Improving surgery outcomes
- Planning postoperative management
How to Prepare for the Test
Be sure to ask your doctor what to do regarding medications you are taking to treat any lung conditions. Your doctor may ask you to stop them before the test. Inform your doctor about all the over-the-counter and prescription medications you’re taking, as well as any natural supplements.
- Avoid eating a heavy meal prior to the test; it may inhibit your lungs from fully inflating. Also, don’t eat or drink food and beverages containing caffeine, such as soda, coffee, tea and chocolate. Caffeine can temporarily open up your airways, which may affect your test results
- Do not smoke for at least an hour before the test
- Exercise: Strenuous exercise before the test should also be avoided
- Wear clothing that fits loosely. Tight clothing can constrict your breathing
- If you wear dentures, make sure to have them in. You’ll need to have your mouth fit snugly around the mouthpiece used for the test
What Does a Pulmonary Evaluation Test Look For?
Your doctor will order a preoperative pulmonary evaluation test to determine how well your lungs are functioning. If you have been diagnosed with a condition that affects your lungs, such as asthma, emphysema, or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), the test may be ordered to see the current state of the condition.
What Happens After the Pulmonary Evaluation Test?
You may feel dizzy after the test, so rest until you recover. You can go back to your normal activities afterwards.
What Happens With the Pulmonary Evaluation Test Results?
Your lung specialist will evaluate the results of your tests. If there are any concerns, they will be relayed to your surgeon and anesthesiologist for further evaluation.
For More Information on Preoperative Pulmonary Evaluation Testing
Contact MXBowen, Physician P.C., Health & Breathing Center to schedule an appointment. Dr. Bowen provides testing for pulmonary conditions, and his practice offers the latest diagnostic tests and in-office procedures, as well as same-day appointments.