When a patient with cardiovascular disease needs surgery, a preoperative electrocardiogram (ECG) is required to evaluate the heart’s electrical activity before the surgery begins. In other words, it evaluates how well the valves and chambers of the heart are pumping blood. The ECG records this activity, so the surgeon can determine if the patient’s at risk of experiencing a cardiac-related issue during surgery. If you need a preoperative electrocardiogram call us today to schedule your appointment: (858) 255-8325
Learn More About Preoperative Electrocardiogram
Some countries depend on anesthesiologists to conduct heart evaluations before a patient gets surgery. This is because anesthesiologists specialize in managing the patient’s vital functions, such as blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate. However, a cardiologist is better equipped to conduct preoperative cardiac evaluations because heart health is their specialty. An anesthesiologist may seek assistance from a cardiologist if the patient has preexisting heart issues.
Doctors use risk stratification to determine how much risk a patient faces if they undergo a particular surgery, whether cardiac or noncardiac surgery. A preoperative clinical evaluation will discover the various clinical circumstances that could cause a bad outcome from the surgery. For example, the risk stratification of cardiac surgery has over 20 potential risk scores and numerous clinical and demographic variables. Doctors use these risk scores to evaluate the likelihood of the patient suffering a health problem during or after cardiac surgery. Noncardiac surgeries have risk models as well.
Of course, no single risk model or score gives a 100% accurate prediction about whether a patient will suffer cardiac complications. However, risk stratification evaluates the risk factors within three particular evaluation groups: minor risk predictors, intermediate risk predictors, and active cardiac conditions.
Best Time to Order an ECG
There is a particular algorithm proposed for patients who’re undergoing noncardiac surgery. The algorithm suggests that patients should receive ECGs if they’re undergoing emergency life-saving procedures or any other intermediate or high-risk surgical procedure. Some of these procedures requiring an ECG include reconstructive surgery, breast surgery, gynecologic surgery, endoscopic surgery, dental surgery, and plastic surgery.
If the ECG records abnormal heart activity, a more comprehensive heart evaluation should be conducted by a cardiologist. The specialist will have to review the patient’s medical history and perform a physical examination, stress test, and another echocardiogram evaluation on the patient. That will be followed by a diagnostic workup, drug therapy, and perioperative management. But if the initial ECG results show healthy heart activity, the patient can proceed to the surgery.
Low-risk noncardiac surgeries only require a clinical evaluation. If the clinical evaluation results find the patient to have a low cardiac risk, they can proceed right to the surgery without needing an ECG. But if they have a high cardiac risk, they must undergo a comprehensive cardiologic evaluation and diagnostic workup.
Contact us to schedule your preoperative electrocardiogram!
Would you like more information about preoperative electrocardiograms and how cardiac risk assessments are conducted? Urgent Care La Jolla can answer your questions and help determine if a preoperative electrocardiogram is suitable for you to get before your surgery. Call us at (858) 255-8325 to make an appointment with one of our doctors to discuss your options in greater detail.