Preoperative Screening

Frequently a cardiologist will be asked to assess a patient’s risk of cardiac complications related to surgery. This is because undetected heart abnormalities may become symptomatic and troublesome under the stress of anesthesia and surgery, and a heart attack might even ensue. Accordingly, the cardiologist frequently will order a number of tests before concluding that a patient may safely undergo surgery from a cardiac perspective. While these tests are not perfect and do not prevent cardiac complications in all cases, they can significantly reduce the chances of a bad outcome. The most frequently ordered preoperative cardiac tests are stress tests and echocardiograms.