Preoperative Care

Overview of Preoperative Care

Preoperative care is the healthcare that is provided to the patient before surgery. It plays an important role in the success of any surgical procedure. The healthcare provider prepares the patient both physically and mentally. Before the operation, different tests are performed to check the physical fitness of the patients and the anesthesiologist would ask your medical history. Special medical care is provided to the patient before the operation.

Purpose of Preoperative Care

The main objectives of preoperative care are:

  • Physical and psychological preparation of the patient before surgery to get better surgical outcomes.
  • Provide the necessary information regarding the operation to the patient to alleviate the fear.

Preoperative care is necessary before any invasive surgical procedure. This care is tailored for every patient because some require maximum information while others are satisfied with minimum information. 

Physical Preparation

Physical preparation includes: 

  • Medical history 
  • Physical examination
  • Surgical and anaesthesia background

Laboratory tests may include:

  • Complete blood count
  • Electrolytes 
  • Urinalysis
  • EKG (if the patient has had cardiac diseases in the past)
  • Check x-ray (if a patient has a history of respiratory diseases)

Post-Surgical Preparation

  • Bowel clearance in case of lower gastrointestinal tract surgery. 
  • Skin cleaning with special soap
  • Hair removal from the surgical area

Psychological Preparation

Patients often experience anxiety before surgery. To overcome this, usually psychological preoperative care is provided. Children often feel fearful before surgery and require special preoperative care. A parent should be along with the child all the time before surgery. Children are also encouraged to bring a toy with them on the day of surgery.

Signs and Symptoms of Preoperative Care

Types of Preoperative Care

The Preoperative teaching includes information about:

  • Preoperative period (arrival time, preparation for surgery, medications)
  • The surgery (procedure) 
  • Postoperative period (knowledge about expected activities, equipment)

Pain Management

Pain management is a major concern for patients after surgery. Patients are instructed during preoperative teaching, how to cope with the pain after surgery. They are also taught about pain medications and how to rate their pain on a pain scale.

Preoperative Care of Children

Usually, children are prepared both physically and mentally before an operation. The major issue a child faces before surgery is anxiety. To overcome this problem healthcare should

  • Explain the importance of the procedure, its outcomes, benefits, and risks
  • Check the child’s medical fitness
  • Prepare blood transfusions to avoid anaemic issues
  • Ensure that the child’s stomach is empty prior to general anaesthetic
  • Check haemoglobin or blood group before major surgery
  • Give preoperative antibiotics to avoid infections

Preoperative Care for Gastrectomy

Gastrectomy is the type of surgery in which all or part of the stomach is removed surgically. It is usually performed to remove stomach tumours or ulcers. Preoperative care for gastrectomy includes:

  • Physical examination
  • Biopsy or endoscopy of GI tract
  • Imaging test of the abdomen or nearby organs
  • Preoperative antibiotics

Causes of Preoperative Care


Risk Factors of Preoperative Care

Assessment of risk factors that can interfere with the healing process is also necessary such as

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Radiation or chemotherapy
  • Steroid use
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Metabolic diseases (diabetes)
  • Latex allergy
  • Supplements





Treatment of Preoperative Care | When to Consult a Doctor