Catalog item:

Medical Tests Before Surgery

Campaign Series: Choosing Wisely
Medical Category: Tests
Article Type: Advice
Language: Plain English, Spanish
Format: HTML, PDF
Most recent update: 09/18/2014
Pre-operative tests can be helpful if you are having serious surgery, especially if you have health problems. The tests can show if you will need special care or a delay or change in your operation. But often, pre-op tests are not necessary. It is not a good idea to get them just because you’re having surgery—with little thought about the type of surgery and your overall health. In these cases, pre-op tests usually don’t help. And they can even cause harm.