Preoperative evaluation, often including laboratory testing, is used to assess a patient’s risk for perioperative adverse events, characterize the current status of systemic disease, and identify any unrecognized risk factors or disease that may increase risk of complications.
Drs Shannon Martin and Adam Cifu developed a guideline to address the use of selected and specific common laboratory tests for nonpregnant adults undergoing elective surgery.
|Preoperative testing may lead to significant harms and costs|
|Journal of the American Medical Association|
The team report that preoperative testing may lead to significant harms and costs, particularly when false-positive or incidental findings are uncovered.
The researchers observed that testing often does not significantly change management in relatively healthy patients.
Dr Martin and colleague conclude, "There is significant variability in clinical practice regarding “routine” preoperative testing for elective surgery in healthy and comorbid populations."